CASTLETON, VT – The Thomas softball team fell just short in the North Atlantic Conference Championship game to finish as the conference runner-up. The Terriers eliminated the New England College Pilgrims with a 9-0 win in six innings to advance into the title game, where they were edged out 1-0 by Husson University on a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the 7th.
Thomas advanced to the championship round of the North Atlantic Conference Tournament with a 9-0 victory over New England College at Spartan Field this afternoon.
The Pilgrims were eliminated from tournament play and finished their season at 18-18 overall.
Sonja Morse was in outstanding form for Thomas, as she tossed a complete game shutout with four strikeouts and just four hits allowed to pick up her ninth win of the season. Her counterpart, Debra Mazzeo, took the loss after allowing nine runs in six innings of work.
Korrie Laren had a stellar day at the plate, going 3-for-5 with two home runs, five RBI's and three runs scored. Taylor M. Johnson added two RBI's of her own, while Alyssa Eugley was 1-for-3 with one RBI and two runs scored. For New England College, Maranda Johnson led the attack with two hits followed by Alyssa Krause and Rachel Kerrigan, who added one hit apiece.
The Terriers wasted little time to take lead, as they produced two runs in the top of the first to jump in front of the Pilgrims. After back-to-back outs to start the frame, Eugley walked and in the next at-bat, Laren hit the first of her two homers on the day to give Thomas a 2-0 lead.
After settling down, Mazzeo and Morse matched each other pitch-for-pitch with three scoreless frames until the top of the fifth when Thomas manufactured three runs to go ahead by five. With two outs, Laren singled before Jordan Agger-Barnes moved her to third with a double to left center. Taylor M. Johnson followed with a bases-clearing two-bagger into the right field gap to give the Terriers a 5-0 lead.
In the top of the sixth, Eugley added a two-run double and Laren smashed her second homer of the game, a three-run shot down the left field line. Morse pitched a scoreless bottom half of the frame to secure a 9-0 Thomas victory.
THOMAS-HUSSON CHAMPIONSHIP RECAP
With two on and two out in the bottom of the seventh, Haley Spiers came up big for Husson with a walk-off single through the left side of the infield to secure the Eagles' seventh straight North Atlantic Conference Championship with a 1-0 victory over Thomas on Saturday afternoon at Spartan Field.
Husson completed a perfect run through the tournament, as it knocked off the Terriers twice and New England College to improve to 26-11 overall and clinch an automatic berth in the 2015 NCAA Softball Tournament.
Neither team was able to really get their bats going, as the squads combined to produce just nine hits, with four of them coming in the last half inning of play. Sami Schultz led Husson with two hits on the day while Sonja Morse, Taylor M. Johnson and Korrie Laren recorded one hit apiece for the Terriers.
Morse was once again impressive on the mound, tossing 6.2 innings of one-run softball in the losing effort. Kayla Merrill improved to 15-4 on the season after tossing a complete game shutout for Husson.
After six innings of scoreless softball, the Eagle bats came alive in the bottom of the seventh. With one out, Casey Lopes and Deb Colpitts hit back-to-back singles to put two on for Schultz, and the junior came through with a single through the left side of the infield that seemingly was going to plate the game-winning run.
However, Thomas' Brianna Warren nailed the runner at the plate with a line drive throw from left to maintain the scoreless affair.
Morse needed one more out to get Thomas out of the jam, but Husson wouldn't give in, and with runners on second and third and two outs, Spiers lined the ball through the left side of the infield to plate Debbie Wright and hand the second-seeded Eagles the 2015 NAC Championship.
The Terriers end their 2015 season as the conference runner-up and with an overall record of 16-23. Alyssa Eugley, Sonja Morse and Lindsy Hoopingarner were all named to the NAC All-Tournament team.
NAC All-Tournament Team
Sami Schultz – Husson (MVP)
Casey Lopes – Husson
Kayla Merrill – Husson
Lindsy Hoopingarner – Thomas
Alyssa Eugley – Thomas
Sonja Morse – Thomas
Alyssa Krause – New England College
Rebecca Allen – New England College
Kayla Wood – Castleton
Kristi Lawless – Castleton