Bangor, Maine – The fourth seeded Terriers College continued to spoil the party for the top seeds in the North Atlantic Conference Softball Tournament, earning a 3-1 win over second-seeded Castleton State College Saturday afternoon at O'Keefe Field.
The Terriers, who dispatched of top-seed Husson University yesterday, will wait the winner of an elimination game between Castleton and Husson in tomorrow's championship round. The winner of today's elimination game will have to defeat Thomas twice if they wish to spoil the upset-minded Terriers.
Kelsey Crowe turned in a complete-game six-hitter to pick up her sixth win of the season in the pitcher's circle. Crowe allowed one earned run and struck out eight while walking just one.
The Terriers did what no other NAC opponent could this season, defeat NAC Player of the Year Taylor Lively. Lively, who was a perfect 8-0 against conference foes this season, allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits and a walk while striking out seven in her six innings of work.
Thomas broke through for a pair of runs in the fourth as Alei Collier singled to start things off and moved to third on a double down the leftfield line by Alyssa Eugley. Crowe then smacked a sacrifice fly to centerfield, scoring Collier. The throw to the plate got away, and Eugley scampered home for the insurance run.
Castleton cut the lead in half in the sixth as Tori Fearon led off with a walk and came around to score on a Shannon Jipner to the right-centerfield gap.
Crowe once again helped her own cause in the bottom of the sixth, singling with one out and Collier on second after leading off with a base hit. With runners on first and third pinch-hitter McKayla Gastia hit a dribbler in between Jipner and Lively towards first that Jipner fielded and flipped to Lively covering for the putout, but Collier came in through the back door to make it 3-1.
Stephanie Sylvester singled to lead off the Spartan seventh inning, but Crowe was able to retire the next three batters in a row to advance.
The Spartans put runners on in every inning but the fourth, but it was Crowe who repeatedly rose to the occasion to stymie the Castleton bats.