Salve Regina ends Endicott's reign, 9-1
NEWPORT, R.I. – Junior Jillian Quintana (Denver, Colo.) went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and five runs batted in as the top-seeded Salve Regina University softball team defeated #2 Endicott College by a score of 9-1 during the semifinal round of the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Championship tournament at Toppa Field on Saturday afternoon. The win improves the Seahawks to 24-15 on the season, and ends the Gulls' (22-17-1) string of nine consecutive CCC titles.
Quintana paced the Seahawk offense, accounting for seven runs in the win, while freshman Laura Anne Dinan (Monterey, Mass.), junior Megan Jakiela (Meriden, Conn.), and senior Kristen Parolise (Hamden, Conn.) each collected two hits. Junior Jen Cruver (North Haven, Conn.) earned her 23rd victory of the season on the mound for the Seahawks, allowing just one run on five hits while striking out six.
The Gulls were led by junior Jocelyn Russo (Middletown, Conn.) who finished 2-for-3 with a run scored, while sophomore Jesse Bilafer (Concord, Mass.) went 1-for-3, driving in Endicott's lone run. Juniors Colleen Martin (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) and Byrne Katz (Trumbull, Conn.) added one hit apiece for the Gulls.
The Gulls took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first, as Russo led off the game with a triple to left center and then came home on a ground out to short by Bilafer.
The Seahawks answered with three runs on four hits in the bottom half of the frame. Quintana delivered a two-out, two-run single to give the Seahawks the lead, and was followed by an RBI single by Jakiela.
Salve Regina added three more runs in the third, as both Quintana and Parolise smacked RBI singles to build a 6-1 advantage.
After Muehlbronner knocked in a run with a single to right in the fourth, the Seahawks put the game away via the mercy rule with two runs in the bottom of the sixth, as Quintana plated a pair with a base hit to center.
With the 9-1 victory, the Seahawks advance to the finals, hosting the #3 University of New England Nor'easters.