FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

May 15, 2005

 

The 2005 Eastern College Athletic Conference
New England Div. III Softball Tournament

Northampton, MA

 

Teams

 

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#8 Western Connecticut (26-16-1)

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#3 Rhode Island College (28-15)

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ANCHORWOMEN WIN ECAC CHAMPIONSHIP
Heidi Eichler Earns Tournament MVP Honors

Northampton, MA—Third-seeded Rhode Island College defeated eighth-seeded Western Connecticut, 4-3, to capture the 2005 Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) N.E. Div. III Softball Tournament Championship. It is the third ECAC title for the program, which won the championship in 1984 and 1986 as well. RIC freshman pitcher Heidi Eichler (Madison, CT) was named the Tournament Most Valuable Player as she went 2-0 with one save and eight strikeouts in three appearances. Eichler threw a perfect game (five innings) in RIC’s, 9-0, win over Suffolk yesterday.

 

In the Championship Game, RIC junior center fielder Megan Ponte (Wakefield, RI) singled in the bottom of the seventh. With one out, freshman first baseman Christie Lotti (Waterford, CT) doubled. The ball was misplayed in the outfield, which allowed Ponte to score the game-winning run and give RIC the title.

 

Western Connecticut jumped out to a, 3-0, lead in the top of the third as freshman catcher Jessica Watts (Milford, CT) belted a three-run home run. RIC plated one in the third and tied the game up, 3-3 in the bottom of the sixth. In the sixth, Lotti walked and stole second. Junior left fielder Katie Benevides (North Dighton, MA) then walked and shortstop Adora Burke (Naples, ME) doubled in Lotti and advanced Benevides to third. Benevides scored on a wild pitch from WCSU freshman relief pitcher Shelby Slie (Seymour, CT) to tie the game up.

 

Eichler earned the win (14-8), throwing a complete game with two strikeouts. Slie took the loss for the Colonials.

 

RIC eliminated sixth-seeded Elms, 10-2, in first round action on Wednesday, May 11. The Anchorwomen advanced to the double-elimination championship round, held at Smith on May 14-15. RIC shut out fourth-seeded Suffolk, 9-0, in five innings on May 14. The Anchorwomen came back and won game two, 1-0, against second-seeded Smith. The Colonials had to defeat Smith, 4-1, on Sunday, May 15 before eventually falling to the Anchorwomen in the finals.

 

 
 

 

ECAC N.E. Div. III Softball Tournament MVP Heidi Eichler
& RIC Head Coach Maria Morin