BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- The Moravian College softball team is set for its 17th appearance in the NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament as the Greyhounds play Salisbury (Md.) University in the opening round of the Ewing, New Jersey Regional being hosted by The College of New Jersey on Friday, May 11 at 12:00 p.m.
The second seed Greyhounds will be the home team against the Sea Gulls, who they have faced seven times before in the NCAA Tournament with a 3-4 record including a pair of one-run wins in the 2004 NCAA Division III World Series. Friday's other first round game has host and Regional top seed TCNJ playing fourth seed Johnson & Wales (R.I.) University at 2:30 p.m. Saturday's action kicks off at 11:00 a.m. with the winner's bracket game. Tickets are $10 for adults, $7 for seniors and $5 for students and children over the age of 12. Follow the tournament at http://www.tcnjathletics.com/sports/2018/5/7/ncaa-softball-tournament-central.aspx?id=1493.
Moravian, led by 25-year head coach John Byrne who has a career slate of 818-239, have posted a 32-5 overall record this spring, the 25th straight year that Moravian has won at least 23 games, and an 11-1 mark in Landmark Conference action to earn the top seed in the Landmark Conference Tournament where the Greyhounds won their eighth Landmark Conference title and 16th overall conference championship last weekend. The Blue & Grey are also ranked No. 8 in the nation in the latest National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division III Top 25 poll.
The Greyhounds, who have won over 30 games 19 times under Byrne, are in the NCAA Division III Tournament for the 17th season, and the program is 41-34 all-time in NCAA Tournament play. Moravian posted NCAA regional championships and berths in the 2007 and 2010 NCAA Division III World Series and a national runner-up finish at the 2004 Division III World Series. The Hounds also won a regional championship in 2015 to advance to the first Super Regional in program history.
Moravian is hitting .339 entering the tournament with 334 hits including 90 extra-base hits with 57 doubles and 25 home runs for a .489 slugging percentage. Moravian has out-scored its opponents, 251-84, for an average of 6.78 runs per game, and the Greyhounds have a .955 fielding percentage. Moravian has posted 12 shutouts in 32 wins for a 1.67 ERA, and the Hounds' pitchers have recorded 198 strikeouts and just 52 walks this spring.
In the circle, senior pitcher Josie Novak, the 2018 Landmark Conference Pitcher of the Year and All-Conference First Team honoree, has a 17-2 record with a 1.33 ERA, six shutouts and 131 strikeouts in 126 innings while senior pitcher Amanda Carisone, a Second Team Landmark All-Conference Selection, is 15-3 with a 1.83 ERA, four shutouts and 63 strikeouts in 107.1 innings. Sophomore pitcher Paige Lesher has tossed four innings while freshman pitcher Meghan Bauer has two innings.
Senior center fielder Kat Spilman, the 2017 Landmark Conference Co-Player of the Year and All-Conference First Team player, leads the Greyhounds with a .429 average, 48 hits, 32 runs, eight doubles, four triples, six homers, 16 walks and 33 RBIs while freshman second baseman Shannon Brogan, who earned a spot on the All-Conference Second Team, has added a .424 average to go with 42 hits, 30 runs, seven doubles, two homers and 24 RBIs in her debut season. Freshman right fielder Brooke Wehr, a Landmark All-Conference First Team honoree, has a .381 average, 48 hits, 44 runs, eight doubles, 10 home runs – five of which have led off the first inning of games – and 36 RBIs while senior catcher Janae Matos has contributed a .355 average, 39 hits, 19 runs, 11 doubles, a triple, a homer, 18 walks and 29 RBIs.
Junior third baseman Madison Shaneberger, who made the Landmark All-Conference First Team, has a .330 average. 35 hits, 20 runs, eight doubles, two homers and 23 RBIs while senior first baseman Jean Markovic, a Landmark All-Conference Second Team player, has added a .302 average, 32 hits, 14 runs, four doubles, two triples and 26 RBIs. Freshman shortstop Maddisen Bieber has 26 hits, 18 runs, a double, a homer and 13 RBIs while sophomore left fielder Lauren Goetz, who was named to the Landmark All-Conference First Team as a utility player, has added 21 hits, 13 runs, five doubles, two homers and 17 RBIs. Junior designated player Kaela Kane has 20 hits, 14 runs, two doubles and 10 RBIs while junior designated player Julia DeMarco has 11 hits, nine runs, a double, a triple, a homer and 10 RBIs. Sophomore outfielder Emily Stanilious has nine hits, 13 runs, a double and an RBI while senior outfielder Jackie Marshall has scored 14 runs. Junior outfielder Ashley Gindle has contributed seven runs, a double and two RBIs while freshman infielder Maura Kane has two hits.