History was in the air as the Mercy College softball team clinched a spot in the East Coast Conference Championships today, splitting a doubleheader with Queens College. All Mercy had to do was win once, which the Mavericks did in dramatic fashion.
The Knights (23-24; 12-15 ECC) won the first game, 6-3, setting up a dramatic Game Two. The Mavericks (20-21; 14-14 ECC) responded with a 5-3 win, claiming the fourth and final spot in the upcoming ECC Championships. The Knights will finish in fifth place in the league.
Senior Chelsea Methot (Bristol, Conn./Central) was the offensive star in the decisive game, hitting a pair of solo homeruns. Freshman Mary Sieber (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa) threw the complete game, earning the win.
Queens took an early lead with back-to-back doubles in the top of the second, only to have Mercy take a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the frame on a two out, two-run single for senior Krissy Lacik (Edison, N.J./Edison).
Methot’s first homer came in the third, giving the Mavericks a 3-1 lead. In the top of the fourth, Melissa Natale hit a solo shot for Queens, trimming the lead back to a single run. In the top of the fifth, Queens tied the game on a Kaitlyn Crowley RBI double.
Undeterred, Methot homered to deep center to lead off the bottom of the fifth, giving Mercy the lead back. In the bottom of the sixth, juniorRachel Poccia (Larchmont, N.Y,/Mamaroneck/Westchester CC) had an infield single, then stole second and advanced to third on an infield groundout. She would score on a clean single by freshman Kelly Bentson (Brewster, N.Y./Brewster). It was Bentson’s fourth base hit of the game.
In the top of the seventh, Queens had opportunities, but could not capitalize.
In Game One, Queens scored five times in the third inning, seizing control. Freshman pitcher Tayla Gardner (Orangeburg, N.Y./Tappan Zee) allowed all six runs on 11 hits. Mercy had eight hits, three coming off the bat of Methot.
The ECC Championship is a three-day, double-elimination tournament, beginning Thursday, May 5, at Dowling College. The top three seeds will be Dowling (40-4; 26-2 ECC), Molloy (37-11; 22-6 ECC), and C. W. Post (34-12; 20-8 ECC).
The Mavericks have a pair of doubleheaders remaining in the regular season, hosting Briarcliffe on Sunday, May 1, and at Pace on Wednesday, May 4.
Mercy was celebrating Senior Day, honoring seven seniors for their years of service in blue and white. They are Paige Cauley (Stratford, N.J./Sterling), Kim Curry (Bristol, Conn./Central), Lacik, Methot, Alicia Martin (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa), Stephanie Owsiany (Edison, N.J./Edison), and Cait Rohme (Patchogue, N.Y./Patchogue-Medford/Suffolk CC).