Thomas More University scored 10 unanswered to claim the ACAA title with a 10-2 victory over Alfred State. The Saints, ranked 16th in NCAA DIII play, finished the tournament with a 3-0 record. Alfred State advanced to the championship contest with a thrilling 3-2 win over defending champion Finlandia.
Thomas More's Alix DeDreu was named the ACAA Tournament MVP and was joined on the All-Tournament team by teammates Whitney Quillen, Kenzi Dickerson, and Morgan Wells. Marissa Varella, Madison Papaj, and Brittany Fisher represented Alfred State on the team. Kassandra Avila, Makenna Gorham, and Kyndell Coffman from Finlandia and Natasha Picozzi from SUNY Delhi were also honored.
Championship Game: Thomas More 10, Alfred State 2
Alfred State started off fast in the championship contest vs. Thomas More (32-9). Morgan Franklin hit a sharp single up the middle on the first pitch to start the contest. A walk to Brittany Fisher put a pair of runners on base for Marissa Varela. Varela hit a double to the warning track in center to make it 2-0. The blue & gold threatened for more but Alix DeDreu induced an inning ending bases loaded double play to end the threat.
In the bottom of the 1st, Kenzi Dickerson hit a two-out double to tie it. The Saints took their first lead with two outs in the 2nd when DeDreu hit a line shot off of Fisher's glove to score Sydney Turner to make it 3-2. DeDreu collected a two-run two-out double in the 4th and then capped a five-run 5th inning with a game-ending double to center.
DeDreu was 3 for 4 with 4 RBI for the Saints and earned her third victory of the ACAA Tournament on the mound with five innings of three hit ball. She walked four and struck out six. Dickerson finished 2 for 3 with 3 RBI while Whitney Quillen was 2 for 3 with three runs scored.
Jordan Leonard collected a two out double in the 4th inning to account for the Pioneers hit after the 1st inning (Franklin and Varela had hits in the 1st).
Elimination Game: Alfred State 3, Finlandia 2
The Alfred State softball team defeated Finlandia 3-2 on a walk-off single by Jamie Parente to advance to the ACAA Championship Series.
The Pioneers headed into the 7th inning tied with Finlandia 2-2. Madison Papaj led off the inning with a single to center. After a fielder's choice put Angela Martone on first, Morgan Franklin lifted a single down the right field line to move Martone to 3rd. Parente stepped to the plate and hit a single just out of the reach of the right fielder that allowed Martone to slide home with the winning run.
The Lions got on the board first in the 3rd inning when Makenna Gorham and Kassandra Avila hit back-to-back RBI singles. The Pioneers tied it up in the bottom of the 4th with a pair of runs. Marissa Varella (Egg Harbor Twp., NJ) led off with a triple and scored on a single up the middle by Ashley Peterson. Peterson came around to score three batters later on a RBI single to right by Martone.
Brittany Fisher allowed nine hits and no earned runs in the complete game effort to earn the victory. She walked two and struck out two. Papaj was 2 for 3 while Parente was 2 for 4 with a RBI.
Makenna Gorham was 2 for 3 with a RBI, Kassandra Avila was 2 for 4 with a RBI, and Harlie Caster was 2 for 4 for Finlandia. The Lions finish the season 11-24.
Courtesy Alfred State Sports Information