New Haven, Conn. – The Albertus Magnus College softball team closed out the 2016 regular season with a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) doubleheader split with Emmanuel on Saturday afternoon at Celentano Field. The visiting Saints scored a 4-1 triumph in the opener and the host Falcons took advantage of a late Emmanuel miscue to earn a 2-1 victory in the finale.
With the split, Albertus Magnus enters the post-season with a 21-15 overall record and a 12-10 mark in conference play, while the Saints move to 22-15 on the year and 14-8 in league contests. The Falcons will be the No. 7 seed in the upcoming GNAC tournament and Emmanuel will wait for the fate of the Norwich game this afternoon to see whether they will be the No. 4 or No. 5 seed.
Junior starting pitcher Jill Kilcoyne tossed a complete game and scattered just eight hits to lead the Saints to victory. Kilcoyne went the distance to earn her 15th win of the spring and fanned eight batter, highlighted by striking out the side in third.
For the Falcons, freshman starter Kristen Cunning (Hoboken, N.J.) was saddled with the loss to move to 5-3 for her career. Cunning worked the first three innings and allowed four runs on five hits. In relief, junior righty Shyleen Oritz (New Britain, Conn.) threw four innings of scoreless, one-hit ball for the hosts to keep AMC in the game.
Senior leadoff hitter Catherine Davis paced the Emmanuel attack with three of the team's six hits, including a pair of extra-base hits. On the opposite side, sophomore Daysia Wehder (Queens, N.Y.) went 2-for-2 with a walk for Albertus Magnus.
Emmanuel scored all four of their runs in the third with Davis opening the floodgates with an RBI triple to right. The next batter, Casey Sheehan, brought Davis trotting home with a run-scoring single to left. Later in the stanza with two outs, freshman Ashley Skey and junior Susie Kieselback both recorded RBI singles to center.
Albertus Magnus got on the board in the fifth courtesy of a sacrifice fly to center by sophomore Brianna Whitfield (West Islip, N.Y.).
Albertus Magnus sophomore Megan Ferraro (Branford, Conn.) outdueled a pair of Saint pitchers in the nightcap en route to her team-leading 13th win of the year. Ferraro scattered six hits and allowed one earned run to lower her season ERA to 2.27 in conference play. She set the side down in order in the seventh to help the hosts escape with the triumph.
Freshman Olivia Burgos was the tough-luck loser out of the bullpen for the guests, working two innings and allowing just one unearned run. Kieselback got the start for the Saints and allowed one run over three innings.
In the top of the first, Davis became the first player in Emmanuel's school history to record 200 career hits. The hosts opened the scoring in the bottom of the frame as Melissa Castillo (Taftville, Conn.) laced an RBI groundout to short that brought junior Rachel Cataudella (Shelton, Conn.) charging home.
The visitors tied the game at one in the fifth thanks to an RBI ground out by sophomore Abbey Alexiades.
The Falcons took the lead for good in the bottom of the sixth as Julia Toth (College Point, N.Y.) came around to score on an Emmanuel throwing error following a single from Maxine Sanchez ( Corona, N.Y.). With two outs in the frame and Toth at first, Sanchez lined a single up the middle. Toth then rounded second on her away to third and the throw from the Saints outfield rolled out of play to bring the game-winning run home.
Ferraro set down the side in order in the top of the seventh to give the Falcons their 12th conference win of the year.
Sanchez and Cataudella led the charge for AMC with two hits apiece, while both Davis and Kieselback smacked two hits for the Saints.
Albertus Magnus opens up post-season play on Tuesday, May 3, with a road contest against seventh-seeded Saint Joseph's (Maine) in the opening round of the GNAC Tournament. Earlier this spring, the Falcons took both ends of doubleheader in Standish.