Sunday, May 05, 2013

DeSales softball team, featuring lots of homegrown talent, wins league title and is headed to NCAAs


This happened Saturday, but after being out of town today, I still wanted to salute the DeSales softball team for sweeping through the Freedom Conference tournament with three wins and winning the second league title in the program's history.
The Bulldogs will find out on Monday where they are headed in the NCAA Division III r.
The best thing about the DeSales title, at least to me, is that Rachel Turoscy's team has several Lehigh Valley kids.
So, congrats to all of the Bulldogs, but especially Emily Hockman (Emmaus), Shelby Wilson (Southern Lehigh), Julie Brugger (Liberty), Amanda Setzer (Nazareth) and Ericka Esposito (Notre Dame).
Here's the release from the championship-clinching victory:
Bulldogs Win Second Freedom Title; McCauley Named MVP

Wilkes-Barre, PA (May 3, 2013) – Freshman DJ McCauley broke the single-season record with her sixth shutout of the season earning Most Valuable Player honors and the DeSales University softball team won its second Freedom Conference Championship scoring eight runs in the first inning en route to an 8-0 win over FDU-Florham on Saturday afternoon at the Betzler Athletic Complex.

The title is the second for the Bulldogs with the other coming in 2008.  DSU is now 28-10-1 and now one win shy of tying the single-season mark for wins (29) set in 2010.  The win also gives DeSales the automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament which will begin next week on either Thursday or Friday pending DSU’s placement in the tournament.  The complete NCAA Division III softball bracket will be released on Monday.  Check the DeSales athletics website for all the details when they are released on Monday.

FDU advanced to the title game vs. the Bulldogs from the loser’s bracket scoring four runs in the seventh inning vs. King’s College to win 8-7 and then hitting two home runs (a two-run shot and a grand slam) vs. Manhattanville College to win 6-2.  The Devils needed to beat the Bulldogs twice in order to take home the title.

After McCauley set FDU down in order in the top of the first inning, DSU exploded for all eight of its runs in the bottom of the first inning.  The first two came via bases loaded walks to sophomore Carly Bartholomewand sophomore Samantha Gibson.  Sophomore Shelby Wilson and sophomore Ericka Esposito then both singled making it a 4-0 game.

With two outs freshman Michelle Gessner had the big blow, a bases clearing double giving DSU a 7-0 lead and sophomore Taylor Kelly then singled home Gessner to finish off the scoring for the Bulldogs.

McCauley did the rest not allowing more than one runner to get on base each of the last four innings and retiring the side in order in the fifth to toss her single-season record sixth shutout.  She allowed just two hits and struck out six.  McCauley earned MVP honors pitching every inning for the Bulldogs this weekend, earning all three wins and finished 6-for-9 at the plate with a run scored and two RBIs.

Gessner led the charge in today’s win with two hits and three RBIs, while Kelly also had two hits.  Eight different players scored runs and seven players recorded hits in the championship game win.

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