Back-to-back conference titles for Salve Regina softball

Thrill of victory for the Seahawk softball team following a 3-0 triumph in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) title match with the Hawks; it's the second straight league championship for Salve Regina and a return trip to the NCAA Division III Softball Championships. (Photo by Andrea Hansen)
Thrill of victory for the Seahawk softball team following a 3-0 triumph in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) title match with the Hawks; it's the second straight league championship for Salve Regina and a return trip to the NCAA Division III Softball Championships. (Photo by Andrea Hansen)
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COMMONWEALTH COAST CONFERENCE SOFTBALL RESULTS
[Game 11] #3 Roger Williams def. #2 Western New England, 7-1 (Golden Bears eliminated)
[Game 12] #1 Salve Regina def. #3 Roger Williams, 3-0
Toppa Field - Newport, R.I.
Sunday, May 7, 2017

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Summary
NEWPORT, R.I. - No. 1 seed Salve Regina University softball captured its second consecutive Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) championship after downing No. 3 seed Roger Williams University, 3-0, as the league's pitcher of the year, Kelsey Boarman (No. Dighton, Mass.), continued her dominance without allowing an earned run in the postseason.

Roger Williams (26-18, 12-6 CCC) had defeated No. 2 seed Western New England University, 7-1, in the earlier game at Toppa Field to advance to its second straight final. Last year's final three in Springfield, Mass., all returned to this year's championship round hosted by Salve Regina.


Game 12
#1 Salve Regina 3, #3 Roger Williams 0
Boarman gave up eight hits to the Hawks in the first five innings and worked out of each jam. Haley Ledbetter (Westerly, R.I.) singled with one out in the first inning before the conference's player of the year, Salve Regina's Francesca Galeazzi (Lynn, Mass.), snagged a line drive and turned it into a double play.

Three singles in the second inning loaded the bases for Roger Williams with one out. Boarman got a short fly to right fielder Amanda Riley (Barrington, N.H.) before striking out the number nine hitter to end the threat.

Ledbetter and Julianne Vesce (Mahwah, N.J.) had consecutive singles with one out in the top of the third. Boarman got two more lazy flies to Riley in right,

Meanwhile, Roger Williams starting pitcher Juliet Hulme (Duxbury, Mass.) set the first six Seahawks she faced down in order. Salve Regina senior All-CCC outfielder Lexi Soucie (No. Easton, Mass.) singled to open the third inning against Hulme, but did not get beyond second base.

A two-out double by Taylor Chatowsky (No. Kingstown, R.I.) produced nothing for the visitors in the fourth, and Salve Regina went to work offensively in the bottom of the frame.

Sophomore All-CCC third baseman Elizabeth Lombardo (Thomaston, Conn.) led off with a bunt single and Riley poked one through the right side for runners at first and second with no outs. Sophomore All-CCC catcher Emily Woznick (Sandy Hook, Conn.) brought the Seahawk crowd to its feet with a long blast to left field, but it got held up by a stiff wind and Tara Chatowsky (No. Kingstown, R.I.) got under it a few feet from the fence for the first out.

After a wild pitch moved runners to second and third, Hulme struck out the next batter. Senior All-CCC shortstop Nikki Bukovsky (Westport, Conn.) drove in Lombardo with the game's first run with a bunt single. Soucie followed with her second basehit, a single to left center that plated Riley and Bukovsky for a 3-0 lead.

Boarman retired the last seven Hawks she faced and finished with three strikeouts. She got the last out on a comebacker to the circle, and underhand flipped to first baseman Kristen Hickey (New Hyde Park, N.Y.).

Quotes
"I am confident we can get out of situations like that. I might have let up some hits but my defense is always there behind me. I knew it was going to be a fight, Roger Williams or Western New England always give a fight. We really want to win - we have heart, we have chemistry, we all wanted to win a championship." - Kelsey Boarman

"It's very surreal right now. When I got here I said I wanted to make it good for the kids. Every thing we do is built on integrity and working hard and doing the little things. This team chemistry is incredible; the senior leadership and freshmen stepping up." - first-year head coach Jannelle Iaquinto, the league's coach of the year

Series and Streaks
Salve Regina has won seven straight games in CCC postseason play. The Seahawks swept a pair of regular season games against the Hawks at Toppa Field last month (2-1 in eight innings, and 8-7); Salve Regina has won four straight against Roger Williams including last year's title match (2-0) in Springfield.

The Seahawks have won back-to-back titles for the third time in program history; their first three championships came consecutively in 1993, 1994, and 1995. They won again in 1999 before last year's triumph gave Salve Regina its first NCAA bid.

The 25 wins in a season match a program-high mark set in 2009.

Next Up
Salve Regina earns the league's automatic bid into the NCAA Division III Championships and will watch a selection show to reveal its place in the tournament on Monday, May 8, at 1 p.m.

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