Gulls capture sixth-straight TCCC Title

Endicott earns NCAA Regional Tournament berth

Senior Jenn Elwell tossed a complete-game shutout in the TCCC Championship game versus Nichols College

May 3, 2008

BEVERLY, Mass. - Led by senior Jenn Elwell (Tewksbury, Mass.), the Endicott College softball team won their sixth consecutive TCCC Championship by defeating Nichols College 7-0 on Saturday afternoon at Endicott Softball Field in Beverly, Mass. The Gulls and the Bison both won match-ups against Western New England College earlier in the day to advance to the finals. EC topped WNEC in a continuation game from Friday by the score of 4-1, while Nichols edged out the Golden Bears for a 2-1 victory.

Endicott jumped all over Nichols starter Lindsay Hassett (Oxford, Mass.) in the first inning of the championship game. Sophomore Jenna Lazar (Milton, Mass.) led things off with a walk and was followed by senior Danielle Sargent (Sabattus, Maine) who was hit by a pitch. After Rachel Pearson (Gales Ferry, Conn.) moved the runners over with a sacrifice bunt, two-time TCCC Player of the Year Meghan Sargent (Salisbury, Mass.) laced a double to left center putting the Gulls up 2-0. With two down in the inning sophomore Merry MacDonald (Braintree, Mass.) delivered an RBI single scoring Sargent, and moved all the way to third on a throwing error. MacDonald would score on a wild pitch, extending the EC lead to 4-0 after one inning of play.

The Green and Blue tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, with second baseman Sarah Spaziano (Norton, Mass.) and right fielder Megan Downey (Ballston Lake, N.Y.) both collecting RBI.

Seven runs were more than enough for Elwell, who tossed a complete-game shutout, giving Endicott the 7-0 victory and an unprecedented sixth-straight TCCC Championship.

The win moves Elwell to 14-3 overall on the season. She went seven strong innings, scattering eight hits without surrendering a run. Sarah Spaziano stood out offensively for the Gulls going 3-3 with an RBI and a run scored. Catcher Meghan Sargent added a double, two RBI, and a run scored in the championship victory.

The day began with Endicott and WNEC finishing the final three innings of a 4-1 game which was postponed on Friday due to weather. Endicott's Maria Mangine (Lockport, N.Y.) finished strong, as the Gulls captured the winner's bracket with a 4-1 win.

Mangine earned the win for EC, improving to 13-1 overall on the season. She went seven innings surrendering just one run on six hits while striking out eight.

Offensively, the Gulls were led by senior Rachel Pearson who went 1-2 with a two-run homer and a walk in the win.

Game two showcased a semifinals match-up between WNEC and Nichols College, the winner of which would face EC in the championship.

The Golden Bears grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning on an RBI single by freshman Trish Breault (Millville, Mass.) scoring sophomore Christina Farese (Marlborough, Mass.).

The score remained 1-0 into the bottom of the sixth, as WNEC junior Laura Bower (Hudson, Mass.) and Nichols senior Lauren Person (Vernon, Conn.) battled in a classic pitcher's duel.

After retiring the first two batters in the bottom of the sixth, Bower ran into some trouble. After Lauren Person and Joanne Brignoli (Feeding Hills, Mass.) delivered back-to-back two-out singles, sophomore Valerie Calcagni (Rocky Hill, Conn.) drew a walk to load the bases. Next up was senior Tracy Cullity (Manchester, N.H.) who delivered a clutch two-out go-ahead single driving in two runs to give the Bison a 2-1 lead.

After a leadoff single by Stephanie Ganser (Fairfield, Conn.) put the tying run on base, Nichols coach Steve Ross brought in Lindsay Hassett to try and close things out. After walking the first batter she faced, Hassett retired the next three hitters in order, as Nichols won the game, 2-1, advancing to face Endicott in the finals.

In winning the TCCC Championship the Gulls have qualified for a spot in the NCAA Regional Tournament for the sixth straight year. Endicott's first round opponent will be announced on Monday. Please check for all updated information.

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