With the win, #3-seeded St. John Fisher is now 25-19, while #6-seeded Springfield falls to 29-16.
Sophomore catcher Michelle Wlosek (Nutley, N.J.) went 3-for-4 , knocking in one run to lead the Pride. Junior centerfielder Angela Atkins (East Haddam, Conn.) and junior DP Danielle Spiro (South Windsor, Conn.) each went 2-for-4. Sophomore Bryn Worrilow (No. Babylon, N.Y.) went 1-for-1 with an RBI-single.
The loss to the Cardinals means Springfield will essentially have to do again what it did to win the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference title -- win all remaining games after losing the first -- in order to advance beyond this double-elimination regional. Springfield knows it will play Friday (May 9) at 12 noon against the loser of today's 4 pm contest. That will be #1-seeded Montclair State (42-4). If Springfield were to lose Friday's game at noon, its season would be concluded. A win would mean Springfield would play at 4 pm in a second loser's bracket game on Friday. If Springfield were to win both Friday games, it would then play Saturday at 12 noon.
The winner of this regional will advance to the NCAA Division III Championship site at Salem, Va. from May 16 to 20.
Today's game started favorably for the Pride in the top of the first. Atkins singled to left, then moved up on a single by Wlosek. Spiro's single to right then plated Atkins, and SC led 1-0.
The bottom of the first proved to be the main problem inning for the Pride as St. John Fisher scored three runs on just one hit. There were two errors and three walks. It could have been much worse as two runners were thrown out at the plate.
Springfield would cut the margin to 3-2 in the top of the third. Senior 2B Denise Fumicello (Brockton, Mass.) opened with a single to left, and then advanced to second on a groundout. Wlosek then knocked in Fumicello for SC's second run.
St. John Fisher then added two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Catcher Jamie Harmon singled to right to open the inning. One batter later, 2B Kelly Hausler, who was 2-for-2 and drove in three runs, homered to center field. Those proved to be the winning runs.
In the top of the sixth, junior LF Amanda Lyons (Eastchester, N.Y.) began the inning with a walk. She advanced to second on a groundout, and then came home on Worrilow's pinch-hit RBI-single. But nothing more came of it. Springfield had the heart of the order up (3-4-5) in the top of the seventh, but went down 1-2-3 on a ground out to the pitcher, a fly out to center field, and a foul out to the first baseman.
Junior lefthander Samantha Rhodes (Mendon, Mass.) went the distance, giving up five runs (three earned) for Springfield. She struck out five and walked three, suffering the loss, only the second in her last 17 decisions. She is now 22-6. Amanda Shevchuk gave up 10 hits and walked two while striking out four for the Cardinals. She raised her record to 15-12.