CORTLAND, N.Y. - Senior outfielder Amanda Paulus connected on a three-run, walk off homer in the bottom of the seventh inning to finish off a rally as 21st-ranked Moravian College came back from a 5-0 deficit to defeat the College of Staten Island, 8-5, in the opening round of the 2011 NCAA Division III SUNY Cortland Regional Friday afternoon.
Moravian, seeded second in the six-team regional, moves into a winner's bracket game on Saturday, May 14th at 12:00 p.m. against the winner of the #3 Montclair State University versus #4 Piedmont (GA) College game while Staten Island will face King's College, which lost to host Cortland, 10-2, in the first game of the day, in the first elimination game at 4:00 p.m. on Friday. For the Greyhounds, the win marked the tenth time in 13 trips to the NCAA Division III Tournament that Moravian has started the regionals with a victory.
The Greyhounds threatened in the bottom of the first inning. Senior second baseman Stephanie Falzarano led off with a single but would be stranded at third base at the end of the inning.
The Dolphins would score first in the top of the second inning, taking a 5-0 lead. First baseman Joanna Tepedino started the inning with a solo home run, her first homer of the season. Second baseman Rachel Strobel singled, and then outfielder Michelle Ferraiuolo hit an infield single with an out. Pitcher Danielle Ponsiglione hit a single to load the bases before outfielder Jennifer Volpe hit a two-RBI single and moved to third on an error in the Moravian outfield that cleared the bases. Outfielder Kristi Dillon punt down an RBI sacrifice bunt to bring Volpe home to finish the scoring for Staten Island.
Moravian would get a run in the bottom of the third inning to cut the Dolphin's lead to 5-1. Sophomore first baseman Amanda Dizinno led off the inning with a double and scored on an RBI single from Falzarano.
The Greyhounds added four runs in the bottom of the fourth to tie the contest at 5-5. Sophomore third baseman Shannen Mohr led off with a double and Paulus singled to put runners on the corners. Junior pitcher Jenna Carmon followed with an RBI single to score Mohr while freshman catcher Cassie Ernst then connected on an RBI double scoring Paulus. Senior outfielder Maura Agnew hit an RBI sacrifice fly to score Carmon, and a throwing error allowed Ernst, who was trying to move to third on the play, to also cross the plate to tie the game.
In the bottom of the fifth for Moravian, freshman designated player Taylor Mihalik hit a bunt single to start the inning, and Mohr followed with a single that put Mihalik on third. Mohr moved to second on a ground out by Carmon for the second out of the inning but the Greyhounds were unable to score the go ahead run.
The Greyhounds threatened again in the sixth when Dizinno led off with a single but sophomore pinch runner Samantha Mulderig was stranded at second base.
In the seventh for Moravian, Mihalik led off by reaching on a throwing error on a bunt, and Mohr followed with a bunt single. Paulus then connected on her team leading seventh home run of the season to finish the game.
The Greyhounds had a 13-6 advantage in hits with Falzarano and Mohr both going three-for-four and Mohr scoring twice. Paulus was two-for-four with three RBIs and two runs while Dizinno was two-for-three for Moravian. Tepedino finished two-for-three for Staten Island.
Carmon picked up the win in the circle for Moravian to improve to 13-4 on the season. She allowed five runs, three earned on six hits.
Ponsiglione took the loss for the Dolphins, dropping to 13-7 after giving up eight runs, seven earned, on 13 hits to go with two strikeouts.
Story provided Moravian Sports Information