GWYNEDD VALLEY, Pa.- For the first time in program history, the No. 3 Immaculata softball team (28-14) claimed the Colonial States Athletic Conference (CSAC) championship with a 6-4 victory over No. 4 Neumann and will advance to the NCAA Tournament next weekend for the first time ever.
The Mighty Macs received another outstanding pitching performance from junior Jessica Bormann, who was named the Tournament’s Most Valuable Player, and a big swing from freshman Keani Hindle, who blasted a two-run home run in the third that proved to be pivotal.
IU will now await the Selection Show on Monday at 1 p.m. to see where they are headed for the NCAA Regionals, which are slated to begin next weekend.
HOW IT HAPPENED
-Bormann ran into a little trouble in the first as the Knights had a runner on with two outs and a two-run home run gave them the lead. They threatened with a couple more hits, but senior shortstop Annemarie Bartow made a nice play in the hole to end the inning
-Immaculata wasted no time getting back into it as sophomore Emily Mesey was hit by a pitch, and moved to third on a bunt by sophomore Abigail Carter when the throw to first sailed into right field. Carter then stole second to put two in scoring position, and one batter later, Bartow singled to right field to score both of them. Bartow would come around to score when sophomore Kayla Sponsel was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and the Macs held a 3-2 lead
-Bormann stranded a runner in the second before putting together flawless innings in the third and fourth, and the Mighty Macs tacked some runs on
-Bartow stroked her second hit of the day, a single up the middle to lead off the third, and Hindle stepped to the plate and crushed a pitch to deep left-center for her eighth home run of the season and a 5-2 IU lead
-Bormann worked around a one out double in the fifth and used a crafty double play by Carter in the sixth to escape further damage
-In the bottom of the sixth, sophomore pinch hitter Nicole Kowalski walked with one out, and Sponsel came back in to run, and would score on an RBI single to right field by sophomore LeighAnn Brocious
-Neumann did not go quietly as they got a lead off single, and after two outs, they got a run on a two-base error in center field. The next batter singled to center, scoring another, and bringing the tying run to the plate, but Bormann got her fifth and final strikeout of the day to end it and earn the Mighty Macs the CSAC crown
MIGHTY MACS IN THE CIRCLE
-Bormann (W, 9-5): 7 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K
-In Bormann’s last four starts, she has gone 27 innings while allowing just 17 hits and two earned runs with 16 strikeouts and one walk
IU LEADERS AT THE PLATE
-Bartow: 2-3, 2 R, 2 RBI
-Hindle: 1-3, R, 2 RBI, HR
-Brocious: 1-3, RBI
WHAT THEY SAID
–Head Coach Mike Wallace: “We set a goal at the beginning of the year to win the CSAC Tournament. We knew it would take a team effort throughout the year to accomplish such a goal. Every practice and every game, each lady contributed. My coaching staff deserves a great deal of credit because without them, none of this is possible. Their commitment to working with these young ladies and getting the most out of them to help them be the best they can is priceless. Without that type of commitment from the coaches and the players, we could not have done this. This championships is for all of Immaculata softball, past and present. We are a family. We are IU softball. We are champions.”
-Lone senior Annemarie Bartow: “Today was a team effort all around. This has been our goal for a long time. As a team, we have built each other up as well as pushed each other to become better players. We were prepared for this moment and played our hearts out!”
-MVP Jessica Bormann: “All of the hard work we have put in over the past months was shown on the field this weekend. We set a vibe of confidence and focus going into this tournament, which gave us not a single doubt! Our family is unbelievably excited with what we have accomplished and we are eager to keep it going.”
Originally published on gomightymacs.com