Ithaca College draws Coast Guard in NCAA softball
ITHACA — The Ithaca College softball team, which won the Empire 8 Conference championship and the automatic NCAA bid that goes with it on Sunday, will face Coast Guard Academy Thursday in Willimantic, Conn., in the first round of regional play.
The Bombers (30-12) are the No. 4 seed in the eight-team regional and will play the fifth-seeded Bears (26-17) at 2 p.m.. The regional is being hosted by top-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University (40-1).
The other Thursday matchups are ECSU against eighth-seeded Lesley (28-10) at noon, third-seeded Rochester (28-13) against sixth-seeded St. John Fisher (33-12) at 4 p.m., and second-seeded Tufts (36-5) against seventh-seeded Salem State (33-12) at 6 p.m.
The Bombers are making their 25th appearance in the Division III championship tournament. The last 20 have come under Coach Deb Pallozzi, who guided Ithaca to the national championship in 2002.
Ithaca has a record of 67-52 in NCAA postseason play, and has made 11 appearances in the College World Series.
This year’s squad, which is hitting .309 as a team, is led by sophomore first baseman Sydney Folk, who’s batting .409 with five home runs and 36 RBIs, all team highs. She’s followed by junior third baseman Molly O’Donnell (.354, 9 doubles, 3 triples, 28 RBIs) and junior designated player Jennifer Biondi (.343).
Pitchers Sam Bender (16-5 record, 2.10 earned-run average) and Jillian Olmstead (14-7, 1.74) have combined to pitch all but three innings this season. Bender has started 32 games, and has seven complete games and two shutouts.
Coast Guard — which earned a berth by capturing the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference tournament title as the sixth seed — is led by a pair of .400 hitters. Junior third baseman Holli Bastinck is hitting .465 with nine homers and 49 RBIs, all team highs, and freshman Jesse Richardson (.451, 10 doubles, 26 RBIs).
Senior pitcher Hayley Feindel is 19-8 with a 1.81 ERA and 225 strikeouts in 181 1/3 innings.
Seven other sites — Alma, Mich.; Amherst, Mass.; Bloomington, Ill.; Newport News, Va.; Pella, Iowa; Tyler, Texas; and Union, N.J. — are hosting regional tournaments. The eight regional winners advance to the national finals, a double-elimination tournament May 18-22, at the Moyer Complex in Salem, Va.
Short URL: http://militaryfeed.com/?p=27560