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 selected by the athletic administration is our No. 8 highlight – the softball team defeating Johnson & Wales (R.I.) University, 4-0, in the NCAA Division III Ewing, New Jersey Regional in a game that spanned over two days.
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, had a pair of players set school records during the win. This contest marks the second straight on the countdown for the softball squad.
The game began on Saturday, May 12 at Dr. June Walker Field on the campus of The College of New Jersey as the final elimination game in the NCAA DIII Ewing, N.J. Regional before the championship round. The Hounds and Wildcats would only get two and a half innings in before rain, which plagued the regional for three days, moved into the area and forced the remainder of the game to Sunday, May 13.
In the two and a half innings that were played on Saturday, Moravian senior pitcher Josie Novak posted six strikeouts of the nine outs recorded by the Greyhounds including striking out three in a row after allowing a hit to lead off the top of the third inning. Senior catcher Janae Matos added an out on a foul ball to go with the six strikeouts for seven of the nine putouts on Saturday.
The Greyhounds would go down in order in their two innings at the plate on Saturday as well as the bottom of the third when the game resumed on Sunday. Novak picked up where she left off the day before by striking out the side in the top of the fourth inning.
The Hounds gave Novak all of the offense she needed in the bottom of the fourth. Freshman right fielder Brooke Wehr led off with a single to center field and freshman shortstop Maddisen Bieber reached on a fielder's choice with Wehr beating the throw to second base. Junior center fielder Kat Spilman connected on an RBI double to left center as Wehr raced home, and Matos followed with an RBI single through the right side to score Bieber. Junior third baseman Madison Shaneberger would connect on an RBI sacrifice fly to right field to chase Spilman across the plate for a 3-0 advantage.
Novak added two more strikeouts in the top of the fifth before Matos caught another foul pop up. Then Novak struck out the side again in the top of the sixth.
Moravian finished off the scoring in the bottom of the sixth inning with Spilman leading off with a single to center field and racing across home on a two-out RBI double by Shaneberger for the final score of 4-0.
Entering the top of the seventh, Novak was two strikeouts from tying her own school record of 16 strikeouts in a game and would hit the mark by fanning the first two batters of the inning. After allowing just the second hit of the game, Novak finished off the contest with another strikeout for a new school record of 17 including fanning 11 of 13 batters she retired on Sunday. With the two foul pop ups she caught, Matos also set a school record by recording 19 putouts in the victory.
Moravian was scheduled to play Salisbury (Md.) University in the NCAA DIII Ewing, N.J. Regional Championship Round later on Sunday but that would be forced to Monday, May 14 due to rain.
Read the original game story at http://moraviansports.com/sports/sball/2017-18/releases/20180513htkd86 with links to stats, photos and video.
The number seven highlight in the Top 10 Exciting Games of 2017-18 will be released on Friday, June 15.