BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- Moravian College is continuing its look back at its 2017-18 athletic campaign. The next event in the Top 10 Exciting Games from the past year is our No. 9 highlight – the softball team topping DeSales University, 3-2, to give Head Coach John Byrne his 800th career win.
The Greyhounds, who completed the 2018 campaign at 36-8 overall and ranked No. 14 in the final National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division III Top 25 Poll, played a total of nine one-run games this past spring.
On Thursday, April 5, the Hounds welcomed the Bulldogs to Blue & Grey Field for a non-conference doubleheader and Moravian's first home games of the season after playing 16 games in March on the road with 12 in Arizona. Byrne entered the twinbill with 799 career wins in his 25th season leading the program.
The game was scoreless through three innings before the Hounds took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth frame. Junior designated player Kaela Kane led off with a single and scored on a two-out RBI single by freshman second baseman Shannon Brogan.
The Greyhounds extended the advantage to 3-0 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Senior catcher Janae Matos connected on a double to right center with one out before senior Jackie Marshall came in to pinch run. Junior center fielder Kat Spilman followed with an RBI triple to right field as Marshall raced home. Brogan connected on an RBI single to left field as Spilman crossed the plate.
Things would get interesting in the top of the seventh inning as the Blue and Grey tried to close out the milestone win. The Bulldogs would get two runners on before senior pitcher Josie Novak struck out a batter for the first out of the inning. Moravian recorded another out before a walk loaded the bases and a hit scored two runs for DeSales and moved the tying run to second base. Novak would get the next batter to fly out to Spilman to end the contest.
"It was nice to get the 800th win, and it was also nice to finally play at home after the first month of the season on the road," stated Byrne. "I've had a lot of good players over the last 25 years and they've done more for the 800 wins than I have. I haven't hit a ball, fielded a ball or pitched a ball. All that is the players that have played for me. We've tried to win every game I've coached and when you win over 75 percent of them, I feel pretty good about that."
Moravian would go on to win the second contest, 4-3 in eight innings, one of four extra-inning games this year for the Greyhounds. The doubleheader sweep of DeSales were wins 12 and 13 of the Hounds' 24-game winning streak during the season.
Read the original game story at http://moraviansports.com/sports/sball/2017-18/releases/20180405wdqxzh with links to stats and photos.
The number eight highlight in the top 10 exciting games of 2017-18 will be released on Wednesday, June 13.