FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

May 8, 2008

 

RHODE ISLAND COLLEGE ADVANCES TO NCAA DIV. III SOFTBALL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND

 

Providence, RI—Top-seeded Rhode Island College won the 2008 NCAA Div. III Softball New England Region Championship for the second straight season in a 1-0 win over third-seeded St. Joseph’s (LI) Sunday afternoon at the Dayna A. Bazar Softball Complex.

 

 

 

The Anchorwomen (36-7) advance to the NCAA Div. III Softball National Championship Round, held in Salem, Va. May 16-20, for the second year in a row. The Golden Eagles (33-8) end their season in the loss. RIC will face Louisiana College at 11 a.m. at the Moyer Sports Complex.

 

With one out in the third, sophomore shortstop Kelsey Souza (Braintree, MA) hit a flare over her counterpart, stole second then scored on senior first baseman Christie Lotti’s (Waterford, Conn.) RBI single.

 

 

 Christie Lotti

 

Rhode Island College freshman starting pitcher Melanie Neece (Westfield, Mass.) was dominant, hurling a complete game, one-hit shutout with 10 strikeouts to send the Anchorwomen to the National Championships. Neece retired 13 consecutive batters over the final 4.1 innings to seal the win.

 

 

 Melanie Neece

 

The Golden Eagles threatened in the top of the second as freshman right fielder Terri Leonard (Sound Beach, N.Y.) doubled down the right field and the next two batters reached via a walk. Neece struck out St. Joseph’s senior starting pitcher and top-hitter Jennifer Martinez (Bay Shore, N.Y.) to end the threat.

 

Martinez, who is the NCAA Div. III softball all-time strikeout leader (1,169), ends her brilliant career in the loss (31-4). She allowed just the one run on four hits, to go along with six strikeouts.

 

"It's a great win," Rhode Island College Softball Coach Maria Morin said. "It was a very exciting tournament. I give the kids a lot of credit. They really prepared themselves, played with a lot of heart and desire and most importantly they had the will to win. We look forward to heading back to Salem." 

 

 "It's absolutely an amazing feeling," Neece added. "I never pitched a game this important and it feels awesome!"

 

2008 NCAA Div. III New England Regional
Softball All-Tournament Team

 

First Base:

Christie Lotti, Rhode Island College

Second Base:

Danielle Lopez, Tufts University

Shortstop:

Alexandria Coari, Wellesley

Third Base:

Amanda Tai, Wellesley

Catcher:

Maria Barbuto, St. Joseph’s

Outfield:

Michelle Perrin, Rhode Island College

Outfield:

Roni Herbst, Tufts

Outfield:

Ilana Orloff, Wellesley

Pitcher:

Jennifer Martinez, St. Joseph’s College

Pitcher:

Melanie Neece, Rhode Island College

Designated Player/Utl:

Jenna Harvey, Wellesley

At-Large:

Kayla Jandreau, Rhode Island College

At-Large:

Casey Sullivan, Tufts

At-Large:

Kelsey Souza, Rhode Island College

At-Large:

Monica White, Rivier

 

 

 St. Joseph's (LI) College's Jennifer Martinez and Maria Barbuto, along with
Christie Lotti, Michelle Perrin, Melanie Neece, Kayla Jandreau and Kelsey Souza were named to the NCAA Div. III Softball New England Regional's All-Tournament Team.

 

Head Coach Maria Morin’s Anchorwomen captured their third consecutive Little East Conference Tournament Championship last week and also won the league’s Regular Season Championship, sharing the title with Eastern Connecticut, for the fourth straight season this spring.

 

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