Courtesy: Fairfield University

Softball Heads to Sunday's MAAC Championship with Win over Monmouth

Courtesy: Fairfield University
May 12, 2017

UPDATE: Due to inclement weather, the MAAC Championship Round has been postponed to Sunday at 11 a.m.

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – Streaks vary from position to position and situation to situation on the softball diamond. For hitters, consecutive games with a hit are the measuring stick. For fielders, cleanly handling chances sets the mark. For pitchers, retiring a number of hitters in a row can be used to determine efficiency.

For the second straight game, pitcher Destinee Pallotto put together an impressive streak against when the junior retired 17 straight Monmouth hitters and 19 of the final 20 batters she faced to complete her second straight two-hit shutout, a 4-0 decision that sent the Stags into the championship round of the 2017 MAAC Softball Championship Tournament. The team's opponent  will be fifth-seeded Monmouth which defeated Marist in an elimination game later on Friday. 

The 2017 MAAC Softball Championship is a double elimination style tournament with the Championship final taking place on Sunday, May 14 on ESPN3. A second game will be played after the first game if necessary. The game times will be determined depending on field conditions. The games were originally scheduled for Saturday but the prediction of weather caused the postponement to Sunday.

Pallotto, who has won all three MAAC tournament games for the Stags, gave up a first inning single and a seventh inning single to Justene Reyes, the Hawks' leading hitter with a .357 batting average. Between those base hits, Pallotto retired the side in order during the second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth innings. By game's end, the pitcher fanned four batters and needed 92 pitches to finish the contest.

The Stags offense provided the support Pallotto would need in their half of the first inning as four of the first five hitters reached base which resulted in three runs. Angelina McGuire opened the game with a line drive base hit to right field. Amanda Ulzheimer followed with a line drive down the left field line to place runners on first and second. Courtney Hankins placed a sacrifice bunt between the pitching circle and home plate, allowing both runners to advance a base.

Senior Tori Reed, who drove home three runs in the Stags' tournament opening win against Marist, ripped a two-run triple to the right-field fence that scored two runs and pushed Fairfield in front. Kristen Ball promptly brought Reed home with a base hit to make it a 3-0 lead.

Those runs would be the only ones of the game until Fairfield was able to rally one more time in the top of the seventh inning. Alisha Marshall started the inning by working out a five-pitch walk. Rachel Sieber bumped her up a base with a bunt, bringing the top of the order to the plate. After a wild pitch sent Marshall to third base, McGuire also earned a walk to put runners on the corners for Ulzheimer. The freshman bounced a base hit to the left side that chased Marshall home with an insurance run.

Pallotto entered the circle for the bottom of the seventh and retired the first hitter she faced with a pop up to second base. After Reyes registered her second single of the game, Pallotto collected the second out on another infield pop up and handled the final out of the game off a grounder back to the pitching circle.

In the box score, Ulzheimer and Reed both picked up a pair of hits while McGuire and Ball added a base hit.




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