Tigers fall to Dukes in Semifinals
After defeating the Delaware Blue Hens (35-22) in their first elimination game, Towson (30-28-1) was cut short just one game from the Colonial Athletic Association Championship by the James Madison Dukes (41-14), 8-1.
“We prepared the same way we did each game of the tournament,” shortstop Hailey Balk said. “We were playing each like it was our last.”
The Dukes took an early lead in the first inning, scoring two runs off a single by utility player Erica Field.
Pressure against the Tigers continued in the second inning after Duke outfielder Morgan Heath singled to right field and gave them a 3-0 advantage.
The Tigers quickly retaliated in the bottom of the second inning when Duke pitcher Jailyn Ford hit senior first basemen Bina Abbott with a wild pitch to put her on first.
Abbott then advanced to second after Ford walked junior outfielder Maureen Hepner. With a single to center field, senior outfielder Kelli Lyons brought in Abbott to give the Tigers their first run of the game.
Tiger senior pitcher Katie Lingmai was tested when the Dukes’ third baseman, Sarah Mooney, hit a powerful homerun in right center field, adding another run to the Dukes score.
Lingmai then threw a wild pitch that allowed Ford to score and put the Dukes up 5-1.
In the top of the fourth inning, Mooney hit another homerun off of Lingmai down the left field line, giving the Dukes a large lead at 7-1.
Mooney went 2 for 4 at the plate with two homers, three runs batted in, and three runs scored.
Over the next three innings, both teams struggled offensively, as no runs were scored.
Eager for a hit, with one out in the top of the seventh inning, Ford homered off of Lingmai to right center, putting up the last run of the game.
The Tigers completed the game with hits from Balk and sophomore infielder Macie McGeehan.
“I am so proud of this team and all we have accomplished,” Balk said. “We really turned things around this season.”
With a phenomenal performance for the 2013 season, Lingmai ends her career with an 18-win season and holds the first place position on the all-time wins list in Towson history.
The Tigers also end the season with two players receiving post-season honors at the CAA awards banquet.
Dunham was named to the Second-Team All Colonial Athletic Association Team.
She led the team with a batting average of .311, six home runs, and 41 runs batted in.
Freshman outfielder Olivia Yarborough was given All-Rookie notice from the league. She has eight stolen bases in just 10 attempts.
Both Dunham and Yarborough where the only two Tigers to start every game this season.
“We have a lot of new talent coming in and I know they’re going to help us improve and fill in the gaps,” Balk said. “There’s good vibes in the end of this season and hopefully it’ll carry over to next year.”