Courtesy of Moravian Athletic Communications
GLASSBORO, N.J. --- The No. 8 Moravian College softball team saw its 2018 season come to a close in the NCAA Division III Glassboro, New Jersey Super Regional Sunday as the Hounds dropped a pair of games to No. 14 and host Rowan University by identical 2-1 scores.
"We didn't hit the ball today," stated Head Coach John Byrne. "We had some chances late in both games but didn't come up with the big hit. You can't make mistakes defensively against a good team, especially when you're not hitting, they get magnified and they came back to hurt us. Both our pitchers pitched good enough to win but they have to have some support, but we just didn't do it today. Bad timing to pick today to not be swinging the bat.
The Greyhounds, which finished the season at 36-8, had four hits in the first game with freshman shortstop Maddisen Bieber going 2-for-2.
Senior Josie Novak made her fourth straight start in the circle and allowed two runs, one earned, on four hits and two walks to go with four strikeouts as she finished the season at 20-4. Novak finishes her career second in school history in wins with 76 and strikeouts with 651, third in innings pitched at 608.2 and fifth all-time with a 1.39 ERA.
The Profs would get a pair of runners on base in the bottom of the first inning of the opener before Novak ended the threat with a strikeout.
The Hounds had their first chance to score in the top of the third inning when Bieber connected on a one-out single to left center field but she was stranded at first.
Rowan would break onto the scoreboard in the bottom half of the third inning to take a 2-0 lead.
Moravian loaded the bases in the top of the fifth frame as senior first baseman Jean Markovic drew a two-out walk, Bieber singled and junior second baseman Kaela Kane was hit by a pitch. However, the Blue and Grey were unable to get a runner home.
Junior center fielder Kat Spilman doubled to right center with one out in the top of the sixth inning and freshman designated player Shannon Brogan drew a two-out walk before both were stranded on base.
Moravian would get on the scoreboard in the top of the seventh inning before the Profs earned the win. Markovic led off with a double to right field, and Bieber drew a walk. After a sacrifice bunt by Kane, freshman right fielder Brooke Wehr connected on an RBI ground out to score Markovic. Senior pinch runner Jackie Marshall was left at third base.
Senior Amanda Carisone tossed the second contest for the Greyhounds, allowing two runs on 11 hits with a walk and a strikeout. Carisone finished her career fourth in school history with 71 wins and 539.0 innings pitched, fifth in strikeouts with 358, sixth in shutouts with 20 and eighth in ERA at 1.59.
Moravian had a pair of hits in the game with one each by Wehr and senior catcher Janae Matos.
In the second game, Rowan jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
After having the first two days of the Super Regional postponed due to rain, the two squads would sit through a brief five-minute rain delay at the top of the third inning and a longer 45-minute delay in the middle of the fourth.
The Profs would add a run in the top of the sixth inning to extend their advantage to 2-0.
Markovic led off the bottom of the sixth frame with a walk as the Greyhounds' first base runner of the game. Bieber and Kane each put down bunts and reached on fielder's choices. Wehr followed with the Greyhounds' first hit of the game to load the bases but Moravian was unable to come up with a hit and left the bases full.
Moravian would get on the scoreboard with a run in the bottom of the seventh inning before leaving the tying run at second base. Matos led off the bottom of the seventh inning with a flare single to left field, and Brogan drew a walk before a sacrifice bunt by junior third baseman Madison Shaneberger put the tying run at second base. Markovic lifted a sacrifice fly to center field to bring in junior pinch runner Ashley Gindle. Bieber drew a walk before the contest ended.
The Greyhounds' six seniors – Carisone, Novak, Matos, Markovic, Marshall and Megan Taylor finish their career in the Super Regionals after playing in the Super Regionals as freshmen as well. The group had a career record of 147-28.
"That's a pretty good career," Byrne said. "A lot of people don't get a regional or even a conference championship let alone two Super Regionals. They can be proud of that that they were playing when there were only 16 teams left. A lot of good teams go home this weekend. We have as good team and this group had a great career. They can be proud of what they accomplished at Moravian. When the tears go away, they'll be able to understand what the bigger picture is, and they can walk out of here with their heads held high. I'm very proud of them."