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. 2 highlight – the softball team sweeping Salisbury (Md.) University, 3-0 and 9-1 in six innings, to finish off four straight elimination games and win the 2018 NCAA Division III Ewing, New Jersey Regional.
The Greyhounds, who have their fourth contest on the countdown, won the program's fifth regional title with the two victories on Monday, May 14 at The College of New Jersey to advance to the Hounds' second NCAA Division III Super Regional that would be played at Rowan (N.J.) University on May 20.
The opening game, which was pushed to Monday due to weather that plagued the weekend, was scoreless for the first four innings. After the Sea Gulls had a potential home run in the fourth frame turn just foul, Moravian scored a pair of runs in the top of the fifth inning. Freshman right fielder Brooke Wehr led off with a double and scored on a two-run homer from junior center fielder Kat Spilman. Wehr led off the seventh inning with a solo home run for an insurance run and to tie the school record with her 12th homer of the season.
In the winner-take-all final game of the weekend, the Hounds jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning on a two-RBI single from junior second baseman Kaela Kane. Moravian pushed the advantage to 6-0 with a four-run third inning. Three straight walks started the frame before a walk by freshman Shannon Brogan scored a run. Junior third baseman Madison Shaneberger added an RBI single while senior first baseman Jean Markovic connected on a two-RBI single. Freshman shortstop Maddisen Bieber hit an RBI single in the fifth inning while Shaneberger ripped a two-RBI single in the bottom of the sixth as the Greyhounds reached the NCAA eight-run rule to end the game and send Moravian to the Super Regionals.
Senior pitcher Josie Novak earned the wins in the circle in both contests as she was selected as the Regional's Most Outstanding Player. She allowed just a run in 13 innings with seven hits and 13 strikeouts on the day. Novak recorded 42 strikeouts in 30 innings of work during the regional while appearing in all five contests.
"It is quite an accomplishment to come back through the loser's bracket to win the regional. It's not easy and Josie got on quite a roll during the regional tournament and didn't want to see her career end that day," noted Head Coach John Byrne. "We came out in that first game of the day and laid it all on the line and earned a hard fought win. It was kind of like 2003 but with the rolls reversed. We were playing Salisbury in a regional final at Ramapo and needed just one win to advance and they won a one-run game to force the if necessary game before beating us by seven to advance. It took 15 years but we were able to do the same to them. I've known Coach Knight for years, and these two games at TCNJ were a battle even if the scores didn't show it."
Read the original game story for the 3-0 game at http://moraviansports.com/sports/sball/2017-18/releases/20180514mggla2 with links to stats, photos and video. The original game story for the 9-1 game is at http://moraviansports.com/sports/sball/2017-18/releases/20180514rxp0dj.
The number one highlight in the Top 10 Exciting Games of 2017-18 will be released on Monday, July 2 after a look at four games that received votes but didn't make the Top 10 Exciting Games list on Friday, June 29.