WELLESLEY, Mass. -- Bridgewater State earned its first NCAA Tournament victory since 2002, defeating Wellesley College, 6-1, in the second game of the 2014 NCAA Division III Softball Wellesley Regional.
The #4 seed Bears move to 30-12 on the season, advancing to tomorrow's 11:00 am game to face #3 Saint Joseph's College (Maine) in the winner's bracket final. #1 Wellesley (27-10) will play in an elimination game at 1:30 pm against #2 Western Connecticut State University. Saint Joseph's blanked West Conn, 10-0, in the opening game of the regional.
Bridgewater State senior right-hander Amber White tossed a four-hit gem, throwing all seven innings to move to 23-3 on the season. White dominated from start to finish allowing just one run, while striking out seven and walking one.
Offensively, the Bears were led by a 2-for-2 performance from Jocelyn Bettencourt, who drove in a pair of runs. Jill Welch collected two hits and an RBI in the win, while Kelly McCarthy and Courtney Leddy also drove in runs for Bridgewater State. McCarthy belted her second home run of the season.
The Blue's offense was paced by two hits from Mariah Philips. Lindsay Johnson suffered the loss for Wellesley, throwing seven innings, allowing four earned runs on eight hits with eight strikeouts. She moved to 18-7 on the season.
Johnson pitched around five early errors for the Blue, but the senior hurler had five strikeouts in the first four innings to keep the Bears off the board.
In the top of the fifth, Bridgewater State's McCarthy broke the scoreless tie by lacing an 0-2 pitch off the left field scoreboard. It was her second home run in the last three games, and it broke up Johnson's no-hit bid. Singles from Leddy, Welch, and Bettencourt followed, the third of which plated a run to make it 2-0.
Bridgewater State added a third run in the frame, as a steal from Bettencourt caught Wellesley off balance and the throw sailed to center, plating the third BSU run.
Bridgewater State tacked on three more runs in the top of the sixth. Singles from Samantha LoPilato and Karissa Pagan started the inning, before a ground out advanced both runners to third. A Leddy sacrifice fly made it 4-0, before a Welch double pushed the edge to 5-0. An infield single from Bettencourt followed, with the throw to first hitting the runner, allowing Welch to scamper home with the third run of the inning, making it 6-0 Bears.
Wellesley made some noise in the bottom of the seventh, rallying for a run with two outs. Emilyrose Havrilla poked a single into left field before Anna Pisac worked a walk to put runners on first and second. A two-out single through the right side from Philips scored Havrilla to make it 6-1, but White forced a ground-out to end the game.
Havrilla's base hit in the seventh was the only ball hit into the outfield in the air for the Blue. White induced 11 ground outs for the game, fanned seven and retired three batters on a pair of pop-ups and a soft liner back to the circle. She retired the side in order in five of the seven innings.
Notes: The NCAA Tournament victory marked the Bears' first since 2002…The Bears had lost their last 13 NCAA Tournament games dating back to a 1-0 win over Wheaton College on May 12, 2002.