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Softball: Aggies Split at DeSales, Clinch Third Seed for Playoffs

Jun 01, 2009

The Delaware Valley College softball team sealed up the third seed in the upcoming Freedom Conference playoffs as the Aggies split a doubleheader at defending champion DeSales University. Delaware Valley rallied for a 3-2 victory in the opener before the Bulldogs took an 8-5 decision in the nightcap.

Delaware Valley, which may try to reschedule a previously postponed doubleheader for early next week, is now 14-14 overall and 10-6 in the Freedom. The Aggies finish tied with Wilkes University for third place, but they got the spot thanks to a twinbill sweep of the Lady Colonels early in the season. As a result, they avoid Tuesday’s first-round game between the No. 4 and 5 seeds (now Wilkes versus King’s) and will automatically head to next weekend’s double-elimination tournament at Wilkes (a pre-determined site) where they will have a rematch with DeSales at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, May 1.

It is the third straight year that Delaware Valley will be in the Freedom playoffs and the second time that the trip is an unexpected one. In 2007, the Aggies were picked to finish last in the conference coaches’ preseason poll, but they instead took fourth for their first playoff berth in 20 years. Expectations were higher for a senior-laden team last year and they made it all the way to the championship game. With a number of key contributors gone and an entire pitching staff comprised of freshmen, Delaware Valley was again picked low in the ‘09 poll, this time seventh out of the nine teams. However, early sweeps of Wilkes and Alvernia propelled the team back to the postseason.

Saturday’s opener saw the Aggies trail 2-0 until the top of the sixth when, with runners on first and third and two outs, freshman Erin Fox smacked a bases-clearing double to tie the contest. Then in the seventh, Ashley Lynch-Giangregorio, who came in to pinch-run after a single by Brianne Birtell, scored on a wild pitch for a 3-2 lead.

DeSales (23-11, 11-5) put the tying run on third with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, but Maggie Kichler got a batter to foul out to third to end the game. Kichler improved to 5-6 as she allowed just two runs on nine hits in the contest. Fox’s double was her lone hit of the game while Krystal Diaz was a perfect 3-for-3 with a double. Jen Lococo went 3-for-4 with two RBIs for the Lady Bulldogs.

The nightcap saw Delaware Valley take a 2-0 lead on a sacrifice fly by Bethany Pavlik and a wild pitch that plated Diaz, who had doubled. However, DeSales answered with four runs in the bottom of the second, including a two-run double by Jamie Pfitzenmayer.

The Aggies made it a 4-3 ballgame in the third on an RBI single by Pavlik, but the Lady Bulldogs upped the lead again in the fourth on a two-run double by Lococo. The teams then traded runs in the fifth and sixth innings for the 8-5 final. Diaz had an RBI double in the fifth and Pavlik hit a solo home run in the sixth to account for Delaware Valley’s final two runs.

Pavlik went 2-for-3 with three RBIs while Diaz was 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI. Sarah Lazar also had a multiple-hit game as she went 2-for-3. Lococco was 3-for-4 with three RBIs and also picked up the win on the mound for DeSales. Pfitzenmayer added two hits and two RBIs in four at-bats. 

Softball information provided courtesy of Matthew Levy, Assistant Athletic Director and Sports Information Director.