WELLESLEY, Mass. -- Bridgewater State captured the 2014 NCAA Division III Softball Wellesley (Mass.) Regional Championship with a 3-1 victory over host Wellesley College on Sunday afternoon. The Bears now advance to the NCAA Super Regional next weekend against Tufts University, winner of the Williamstown (Mass.) Regional, at a location and time to be determined.
Bridgewater State improves to 32-12 on the season with the victory, while the Blue end their 2014 season at 29-11.
Tournament MVP Amber White was once again stellar in the victory, throwing the full seven innings while allowing only five hits to go with three strikeouts and three walks. The Bears' Tara McCann provided White all the run support she needed, blasting a three-run home run in the bottom of the third.
The game was tight through the early goings, with both pitchers keeping the hitters off balance.
BSU's Courtney Leddy led off the bottom of the third inning with a base hit to left. Jill Welch then reached on a fielder's choice with Leddy safe at second on a throwing error by the first baseman. One out later, McCann drove a 3-1 offering over the left field fence to give the Bears a 3-0 lead.
After the McCann blast, Wellesley's Lindsay Johnson settled in, finishing the day with two earned runs on six hits and four strikeouts.
Wellesley cut the lead to 3-1 in the top of the fifth as Ashtyn Coleman led off the frame with a double and came around to score on a Jayne Ellis single to left. White, however, closed out the inning with a ground-out to limit the damage.
Wellesley attempted to rally in the top of the seventh with a one-out double by Jaclyn Tsang bringing the tying run to the plate. Tsang advanced to third on a groundout, but a hard liner was tracked down in center by Bridgewater State's Jessica Laudati, sealing the victory for the Bears.
The Bears were led offensively by the freshman McCann, who went 1-for-3 on the day with the big the three-run homer. Five other players collected hits for Bridgewater in a balanced effort. Leddy and Welch each extended their hitting streaks to six games.
Wellesley was led by Coleman, who went 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored. Jennifer Migliore reached base all three times at the plate with a pair of walks and a hit by pitch, while Tsang added a double to round out the Blue offense.
Joining White on the All-Tournament team were teammates McCann, Welch, and Kelly McCarthy. Wellesley's Johnson, Coleman, and Mariah Philips earned All-Tournament honors for the Blue, while Saint Joseph's Carla Trip and Lindsay Moore also collected the honor. Rounding out the team was Nina Wojkiewicz of Western Connecticut State.
Notes: With the three wins at the Wellesley Regional, Bridgewater is now 29-42 (.408) in 22 NCAA Division III Tournament appearances….The Bears also captured regional tournament titles in 1994, 1998 and 1999….The 1994 team advanced all the way to the national championship game, falling to The College of New Jersey, 6-5.
Tournament Most Outstanding Player
Amber White, Bridgewater State
Nina Wojkiewicz, Western Connecticut State
Carla Tripp, Saint Joseph's College
Linday Moore, Saint Joseph's College
Ashtyn Coleman, Wellesley College
Mariah Philips, Wellesley College
Lindsay Johnson, Wellesley College
Kelly McCarthy, Bridgewater State
Tara McCann, Bridgewater State
Jill Welch, Bridgewater State