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Novak Tosses School Record 17 Strikeouts as Greyhounds Blank Johnson & Wales in NCAA Regional

Josie Novak '18 delivers a pitch during a game versus Johnson & Wales (R.I.) University in NCAA DIII Ewing, N.J. Regional.
Josie Novak '18 delivers a pitch during a game versus Johnson & Wales (R.I.) University in NCAA DIII Ewing, N.J. Regional.

EWING, N.J. --- The No. 8 Moravian College softball team posted a 4-0 shutout versus Johnson & Wales (R.I.) University over two days as the Greyhounds advanced to the NCAA Division III Ewing, New Jersey Regional Championship Round with the victory Sunday morning.

Moravian will be back on the field at 12:00 p.m. on Monday, May 14 to face Salisbury (Md.) University in the championship round with the Greyhounds needing two wins to advance to the Super Regionals next weekend. This marks the third meeting between Moravian and Salisbury in a regional final with the Sea Gulls winning in 2003 and 2005.

The contest between the Wildcats and Hounds, who are now 34-6 this spring, began on Saturday afternoon and the teams were able to play two and a half innings before weather forced the game to be suspended until Sunday morning.

Senior Josie Novak started the game in the circle and scattered two hits to go with a career-high and school record 17 strikeouts. Novak struck out 11 of the 13 batters she faced on Sunday after the game resumed.

The Greyhounds had six hits with junior center fielder Kat Spilman going 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI.

After a scoreless first three innings, Moravian plated three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to take a 3-0 lead. Freshman right fielder Brooke Wehr led off with a single and freshman shortstop Maddisen Bieber reached on a fielder's choice as the Wildcats attempted to throw out Wehr on a bunt attempt. Spilman followed with an RBI double over shortstop's head into left center field as Wehr raced home. Senior catcher Janae Matos ripped an RBI single up the middle to bring home Bieber while senior third baseman Madison Shaneberger lifted a sacrifice fly to right field to bring in Spilman.

Junior left fielder Julia DeMarco started off the fifth frame with a double to right center field, and junior second baseman Kaela Kane put down a sacrifice bunt to move DeMarco to third base but the Greyhounds were unable to get her home.

Moravian scored its final run in the bottom of the sixth inning. Spilman began the inning with a single to center field and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Matos and a ground out by freshman designated player Shannon Brogan. Shaneberger connected on a two-out RBI double to right field to bring Spilman across the plate.

Matos also set a school record with 19 putouts in the game as she caught all 17 strikeouts and a pair of foul pop ups.