Softball advances to CAA championship game
The Tigers are heading to the Colonial Athletic Association tournament title game after beating the College of Charleston Cougars and Hofstra Pride on Thursday. It’s the Tigers’ first appearance in the title game since 2009, when they faced the James Madison Dukes and lost.
“I cant even describe this feeling,” junior shortstop Hailey Balk said. “I’m so proud of this team for being resilient and coming this far. There wasn’t a doubt in everyone’s minds that we were going to win today and prove everyone wrong.”
The Tigers (29-24) will get their chance to avenge their 2009 title loss, as they take on the Dukes on Friday in the championship.
The Tigers lost to the Dukes 3-2 on Wednesday, in the first game of the tournament. Since the Dukes have not lost in tournament play, the Tigers will need to beat them twice to win the CAA title.
The Tigers beat the Pride 5-4 as junior pitcher Missy McCormick threw her third straight complete game of the tournament. She allowed two earned runs on eight hits.
“Missy is just killing it right now,” Balk said. “It just seems as we go on, she just gets better, which is just unheard of and we’re all proud of her.”
The Pride (33-13) took a 1-0 lead in the first inning by scoring on a wild pitch.
The Tigers responded with four runs in the bottom half of the inning. Senior right fielder Maureen Hepner drove in the first run of the inning with a single down the left-field line. Two additional RBI singles and a fielding error in the inning gave Towson a 4-1 lead.
Freshman left fielder Jessica South extended the Tigers’ lead in the third inning, with a solo home run.
The Pride cut it 5-2 in the top of the fourth inning with the assistance of a solo home run by right fielder Caryn Bailey.
Bailey hit her second solo home run of the game in the sixth inning to cut the Tigers’ lead to 5-3.
It was a wild finish to the game. The Pride had runners on first and second in the seventh inning. Bailey hit a fly ball to second base, which was dropped by sophomore second baseman Nicole Delgado. One run scored on the drop and the runner from first base attempted to score to tie it, but was tagged out in a rundown to end the game.
In the first game Thursday, the Tigers defeated the College of Charleston 8-6.
McCormick hit two home runs and drove in six runs, including a two-out grand slam in the fifth inning to give the Tigers a 7-3 lead. McCormick also pitched a complete game and allowed two earned runs.
In the game, McCormick tied the single-season program record for home runs (12). She also has a program record of 53 RBIs this season.
The first pitch of the CAA title game is at noon on Friday.