Fourth-seed Allegheny Wins NCAC Tournament
May 4, 2013
Greencastle, Ind. - It took the full seven games of the double-elimination North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament and fourth-seed Allegheny won the final game over Wittenberg and captured the tourney title and the conference's automatic qualification into the NCAA Division III Championship.
Wittenberg forced the "if necessary game" after defeating the Gators, 7-4. However, Allegheny took the final game by a 3-2 score.
In the first game, Wittenberg did all of their damage in the second and third innings. The Tigers loaded the bases in the second, but Allegheny couldn't stop a two-out grounder to short that allowed two runs to score. Shannon Lance came home on a wild pitch and Rachel Ross drove in a pair with a single to make it 5-0.
The Tigers tacked on two more in the third when Ashlee Wright led off with a homer. Aubrey Mendez reached on a base hit, moved to second on a wild pitch and to third on a grounder. The Gators tried to pick Mendez off at third, but the throw was off the mark, allowing Mendez to score and extend the Wittenberg lead to 7-0.
Allegheny scored a pair in the third when Stephanie Fort drew a two-out walk and scored on Halea Hayden's triple. Hayden came home on a wild pitch.
The Gators added an unearned run in the fifth as Caitlin Nealer's sacrifice fly scored Fort. Nealer led off the seventh with a double and pinch-runner Shannen Segiel advanced to third on a wild pitch and later scored on Sadie Stuart's bases loaded walk. Belle Mazurik, whoe represente the potential winning run, popped out to short to end the game.
Wright had two of Wittenberg's seven hits, while five different Gators collected one apiece.
Julia Williams improved to 5-4 with the relief win, while Nealer dropped to 17-14. She struck out 11, but walked six.
In the seventh and deciding game of the tournament, Katrina George led off the Allegheny second with a homer to center before Nealer singled and moved to second on Nicole Rodi's base hit. Nealer advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on Maureen Pallone's single to right.
The Gators made it 3-0 in the fourth as Rodi singled to right and pinch-runner Sophia Katz moved to second on Pallone's grounder. Allie Landowski drove in Katz with a single down the left field line.
Wright homered to start the fifth to trim the Allegheny lead to 3-1. Laura Rose singled with one out in the Wittenberg sixth and stole second. Kaitie Harrison drew a walk and both runners moved up when Rose stole third. Shelby Knapp walked to load the bases and Rose scored when Nealer was called for an illegal pitch.
Wright led off the seventh with a single, but Williams, who was pinch-running, was thrown out attempting to advance to third when Mendez grounded out. A pop up in foul territory ended the game.
Mazurik and Rodi each had two of Allegheny's eight hits, while Rose and Wright each had two of Wittenberg's five.
Nealer improved to 18-14, while Ross dropped to 17-6.
Nealer was named the MVP of the tournament and the complete all-tournament team is listed below.
NCAC All-Tournament Team
MVP: Caitlin Nealer, Allegheny
Nicole Rodi, Allegheny
Maureen Pallone, Allegheny
Belle Mazurik, Allegheny
Rachel Ross, Wittenberg
Kaitie Harrison, Wittenberg
Laura Rose, Wittenberg
Ashlee Wright, Wittenberg
Haleigh Chasteen, DePauw
Sammi Bell, DePauw
Jamie Samuel, Kenyon