DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. (May 9, 2017) - The Mercy College softball team will make an appearance in the 2017 NCAA Division II Softball Championship for the first time in program history after earning the first-ever ECC Championship on Sunday afternoon. Four teams will participate at each of the 16 regional sites in double-elimination tournaments, held May 11-13. The Mercy College softball team earned the No. 5 seed in the East Region, and will play No. 4 seed University of New Haven at 2:30 p.m. at Adelphi University in the four-team East 1 Regional featuring Adelphi (No. 1) and Wilmington (No. 8) beginning on Thursday.
Who, What and Where
Date/Time: Friday, May 12 – 11 a.m.
Records: Mercy (33-14), Adelphi (36-13-1)
Location: Janet L. Ficke Field
NCAA Division II East 1 Regional
Game 1: No. 1 Adelphi (35-13-1) vs. No. 8 Wilmington (34-19) -- Adelphi 5-3
Game 2: No. 4 New Haven (30-14) vs. No. 5 Mercy (32-14) – Mercy 3-1
Game 3: Adelphi vs. Mercy 11 am
Game 4: Wilmington vs. New Haven 1:30 pm
Game 5: Loser Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4 -- 4 pm
Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5 -- 12 pm
Game 7 (if necessary): If the winner of Game 5 defeats the winner of Game 3 -- 2:30 pm
Scouting the Mavericks
The Mavericks enter this week's contest after earning its first-ever ECC Championship with a 7-0 victory over LIU Post in Game Seven of the Championships on Sunday afternoon at Smith Field. Mercy was powered by a complete-game shutout from Most Outstanding Player sophomore McKaily Cusumano and a grand slam from sophomore Kaylee Stevens. Another standout player in the championship was junior Morgan Lloyd, who was named Co-Player of the year. Lloyd came up with a clutch RBI double to left center to score the first run of the contest. At the conclusion of the year, a school-record seven softball members were named to the ECC Softball All-Conference Teams, including Coach Mike Fazio being named Coach of the Year. Lloyd currently leads the squad with a .442 batting average, a .468 on base percentage, 65 hits, and thirteen doubles. The Co-Player of the Year also leads the conference in batting average. Leading the Mavericks in the circle is Cusumano, who sports a 1.88 earned run average, a .220 opposing batting average, 97 innings pitched, 72 strikeouts, and a conference high seven saves.
Scouting the Chargers
For the first time since 2014, the University of New Haven softball team has made the NCAA Tournament. At the conclusion of the regular season, the Chargers had eight All-Conference performances and won 30 games for the first time since 2013. Last time out, the Chargers suffered a loss in the First Round of the NE10 Championship, 6-4 to the Le Moyne Dolphins on May 2nd. The Chargers are led by Taylor Luzzi, who currently leads the team with a .343 batting average, 49 hits, and 39 RBI. The sophomore has also recorded 32 runs scored, ten doubles, four homeruns, and one triple. Another force at the plate for New Haven is Sierra Whitlock, who currently has a .331 batting average, 47 hits, 21 RBI, nine doubles, three homeruns, and leads the squad with 34 runs scored. In the circle is Megan Butts, who has thrown 160.1 innings with 65 strikeouts, 17 wins, and a 2.18 ERA.
Scouting the Panthers
The Panthers earned the No. 1 seed ahead of the tournament for the fourth consecutive season and will act as the host for one of the East Region sites. Adelphi finished the regular season with a 35-13-1 record, with ten players earning All-Conference recognition at the conclusion of the regular season. The Panthers captured their first Conference title in four years with a 6-2 decision over the Northeast Division Regular Season Champions, Merrimack College. The Panthers are led by 2017 NE-10 Conference Player of the year Brenna Martini, who leads the team with 65 hits, 65 RBI, 17 doubles, and 15 homeruns. She also has recorded 43 runs scored and three homeruns. Another threat at the plate is Nicoletta Cuccio, who has blased 59 hits, 51 runs scored, 28 RBI, 12 doubles, three triples, and three homeruns. In the circle, is 2017 NE-10 Pitcher of the Year Lindsay Mapes, who holds a 3.76 ERA with 15 wins, 150.2 innings pitched and 101 strikeouts. The Panthers will take on the Wildcats of Wilmington University on Thursday, May 11 at 12:00 p.m.
Scouting the Wildcats
The Wildcats earn the No.8 seed for the fourth consecutive year. The Wildcats were eliminated from the 2017 Central Atlantic Conference Tournament with losses to Goldey-Beacom and Post University last week. Despite not taking the title, the Wildcats earned a berth and had four All-CACC Members announced last week. CACC Rookie of the Year Rosa'Lynn Burton leads the Wildcats and finished second in the CACC with a .474 batting average. She led the CACC in scoring 52 runs while also leading the league with 82 hits and a single-season program record 39 stolen bases. She also finished second in the CACC with six triples and 108 total bases. Her 82 hits this season are one away from tying the program's single-season record held by Book Ash in 2013. In the circle is Caitlyn Whiteside, who finished the season 17-7 with one save. In 154.1 innings pitched, Whiteside led the CACC with a 1.13 earned run average, setting a new single season program record with 14 complete game shutouts. She ended the regular season in throwing 28 consecutive scoreless innings in four complete game shutouts. Whiteside compiled 78 strikeouts and only issued 17 walks on the season. The Wildcats will take on the Panthers of Adelphi University on Thursday, May 11 at 12:00 p.m.