Lesley University Softball Reaches 2008 NCAA DIII Regional Tournament

Lesley University Softball Reaches 2008 NCAA DIII Regional Tournament

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Lesley University softball team reached the 2008 NCAA DIII Regional Tournament for the first time ever after recently earning the automatic qualifier from winning their conference championship. Although the Lynx lost both of their games in the double-elimination tournament, making the national spotlight was a major step in the progression of Lesley Athletics.

On day one of the tournament against Wellesley College, Lesley took a 2-1 lead into the bottom of the sixth inning after sophomore Georgia Saltzman (Lynn, Mass.) hit a two-run home run to deep left centerfield to give the Lynx the lead. The bomb was one of only three hits that Wellesley pitcher Beej Grundlock (Blackwood, N.J.) would give up.

The Blue would tie the game up at 2-2 in the bottom half of the sixth inning on an RBI single from Meghan Sullivan (Markah, Ontario).

Lesley would be held scoreless in the top of the seventh inning to give Wellesley an opportunity to win it in the bottom half of the frame. Alison Davis (Glen Ellyn, Ill.) led off with a triple down the right field line and would later score on an Ilana Orloff (Weston, Mass.) groundball to second base that resulted in a throwing error. Wellesley would win the game 3-2 and advance to the next round.

On day two of the tournament, Lesley’s Alicia Burnett (Gulf Breeze, Fla.) and Rivier’s Monica White (Augusta, Me.) would lock up in a pitcher’s duel that would end in a 1-0 victory for the Raiders.

Burnett would finish the game pitching six innings while giving up just four hits and striking out three batters. White was dominant as she struck out 13 Lynx hitters in the complete game shutout.

Lesley’s best opportunity to score came in the fourth inning when Saltzman once again provided a clutch hit as she doubled over the centerfielder’s head to start the inning. She would advance to third on a sacrifice but did not score as Rivier got out of the inning unscathed.

The only run of the game came in the bottom of the fourth inning when White would score on a weak grounder to second base by Jenna Beadle (Rumney, N.H.).

The Lynx would get the tying run on second base in the top of the seventh after Gianna Spaziante (Hawthorne, N.Y.) singled and stolen second. Spaziante would not score and the Lynx would be eliminated from the tournament.

The experience in the NCAA Regional Tournament capped off an amazing season for the Lynx who went 30-12 on the year. It was the first time in the program’s history that a Lesley softball team has reached the 30 win mark.

Several players received individual accolades as well this season. Sophomore Jodi Fralick (Woburn, Mass.) won Player of the Year and Alyson Durben (Stow, Mass.) won Rookie of the Year honors from the conference. Durben also earned Second Team All-New England from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association and was named to the Second Team All-Stars from the New England Softball Coaches Association. Lani Cabral-Pini (Wilmington, Mass.), Spaziante, and Burnett were also given All-Conference awards for their efforts this past season.

As the Lynx move into the New England Collegiate Conference in 2009, the team will look to continue their success from this past season against some new opponents in the hopes of earning an at-large bid to next years NCAA Tournament.