VIENNA W.Va.– Point Park University softball ended its season 21-21 after elimination from the 2017 River States Conference Softball Tournament Friday.
The No. 4 seed Pioneers (21-21, 11-7 RSC) defeated the No. 4 WVU Tech Golden Bears (15-37, 10-8 RSC), 5-1, in the first round of the tournament Friday morning, advancing to the winner's bracket.
Point Park scored first in the bottom of the second when Becca Babincak (SR/Gibsonia, Pa) singled to reach base. A sacrifice bunt moved her to second, and she made her way to third on the throw. She stole home on a wild pitch to put the Pioneers on the board.
Point park scored another run in the bottom of the third, and Alyssa McMurtrie (SR/Coraopolis, Pa) hit a solo shot over the right field fence in the bottom of the fourth to put the Pioneers up, 3-0.
The Pioneers added two more runs in the bottom of the fifth. Lily Pruneda (JR/Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) singled and a ground out advanced her to second. Jess Beitler reached on an error, and Pruneda scored on the overthrow. Courtney Blocher (FR/McDonald, Pa.) pinch ran for Beitler, and Amber Cook (FR/West Mifflin, Pa.) hit a double to bring her in.
The Golden Bears scored a run in the top of the sixth off a double and two ground outs that allowed the runner to score.
Ashley Iagnemma (SO/Bridgeville, Pa) picked up the two-hit win in five innings, striking out six and walking one.
Tiffany Edwards (SO/Deer Lakes, Pa.) pitched two innings of relief, allowing one run on one hit.
The Pioneers advanced to play No. 1 Rio Grande (43-7, 17-1 RSC) in the winner's bracket later that day.
Point Park battled back from a deficit in game two, but could not outlast the Redstorm and lost, 7-4, sending them to the loser's bracket where they would have to play again immediately afterward.
Rio Grande jumped out to a 4-0 lead over the Pioneers in the bottom of the first off a few singles and a three-run home run by Kelsey Conkey to begin the game.
In the top of the fourth, Point Park cut that lead in half when Babincak doubled and Beitler hit a two-out, two-run home run to left center to make the score, 4-2.
The Redstorm put another run on the board in the bottom of the fourth, and two more in the bottom of the fifth off a two-run shot by Conkey to put Rio Grande ahead, 7-2.
The Pioneers tried to put together a rally in the top of the sixth, scoring two runs on a hit and an error, but it was not enough to bridge the gap.
Iagnemma pitched a complete game, allowing seven runs (six earned) on eight hits, striking out two and walking three.
Point Park faced No. 6 Cincinnati Christian (20-17, 8-10 RSC) for the elimination game that began immediately following the loss to Rio Grande that evening.
The Pioneers struck first, scoring a run in the bottom of the first inning, but the Eagles put together hits and took advantage of a few costly Point Park errors to score six runs in the top of the second, making the score, 6-1.
The Eagles added two runs in both the top of the fourth and the top of the sixth, making the score 10-1, and Point Park was unable to put runs on the board, thus enacting the mercy rule in the sixth inning.
Edwards pitched 3.2 innings, allowing eight runs (two earned) on eight hits and striking out five. Katie Tarr (FR/Burgettstown, Pa.) put in 2.1 innings of work, allowing two unearned runs on two hits and striking out six.
The Pioneers return the majority of their roster next season, losing only Babincak and McMurtrie to graduation.
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