Royal Review: April 22-28 (No. 33 in a weekly series)

Women’s tennis (9-7)

The University of Scranton women’s tennis team won its second straight Landmark Conference championship with a pair of victories on the road in the conference playoffs. The Royals will make their second appearance in the NCAA Tournament during the second week of May.

Scranton traveled to Washington, D.C. for a semifinal match against Catholic on Wednesday, April 24, and came away with a 5-3 victory. Freshman Emily Walsh (Scranton, Pa./Scranton Preparatory) posted a pair of victories and the Royals also received singles wins from sophomores Lisa-Marie Lanciotti (Northport, N.Y./Kings Park) and Nicole Mahaffey (Harrisburg, Pa./Trinity).

In Saturday’s championship against Goucher in Towson, Md., the Royals took the crown with a 5-3 victory. Sophomore Megan Azzalina (Easton, Pa./Notre Dame) had a pair of victories while Scranton also received singles wins from Walsh, Mahaffey and Lanciotti in the victory.

Scranton will now wait to find out its first-round opponent and site for the NCAA Tournament, which will be announced early next week.

Men’s tennis (8-5)

The University of Scranton men’s tennis team reached the Landmark Conference championship for the fourth straight season, but lost a hard-fought title match against Drew University, 5-4, on Saturday, April 27.

The Royals reached the title match by posting a 5-0 win over Juniata on Tuesday, April 23, at Royal Courts at DeNaples Fields. Senior Bennett Kelley (Pennington, N.J./Hopewell Valley Central) had a pair of victories and junior James Dalkiewicz (Shavertown, Pa./Lake-Lehman) clinched the victory with a win at No. 6 singles.

In Saturday’s championship match at Royal Courts, Scranton dropped all three doubles matches before rallying in singles play, but eventually fell one win short. Kelley and fellow seniors Tim McGurrin (Clarks Summit, Pa./Scranton Preparatory), Mike Pannone (Maplewood, N.J./Seton Hall Preparatory) and Joe Morra (Bronx, N.Y./Fordham Preparatory) each posted singles victories.

Baseball (21-17, 10-8 Landmark)

The University of Scranton baseball team went 3-1 during the week, including a trio of Landmark Conference victories to clinch a playoff berth.

The Royals opened the week with a 4-2 loss at DeSales on Wednesday, April 24. Sophomore second baseman Matt Maghini (Madison, Conn./Daniel Hand) finished with four hits and a run scored, and freshman outfielder Brian Healy (Middletown, N.J./Middletown South) singled, doubled and scored a run.

Over the weekend, Scranton swept three games from first-place Catholic to secure a Landmark Conference playoff berth. The Royals entered the weekend knowing they could clinch a berth with a sweep; they also had a chance to earn a spot with two victories and help in other games.

In the opening game of Saturday’s doubleheader, senior lefty Bobby Della Polla (Havertown, Pa./St. Joseph’s Preparatory) tossed a complete game, allowing one earned run on five hits and a walk while striking out six in a 5-4 victory. Freshman outfielder Ray Grapsy (Covington Township, Pa./North Pocono) singled, doubled and had two RBIs, and senior shortstop Tim LeCompte (Philadelphia, Pa./Roman Catholic) had two hits and scored twice.

In the second game, senior lefty Corey Gorman (Laflin, Pa./Coughlin) struck out eight in a complete game in a 7-4 win. Junior designated hitter Eric Pizzico (Royersford, Pa./Spring Ford) had two hits, three RBIs and scored a run, and junior outfielder Michael Gaeta (Cranford, N.J./Cranford) singled, doubled and scored twice.

In Sunday’s 10-5 victory, Grapsy broke a tie game with a two-out, two-strike, three-run homer in the bottom of the seventh to lift Scranton to the win. Pizzico finished with a pair of two-run doubles and junior third baseman Mike Trabulsi (Malverne, N.Y./Chaminade) had two hits, an RBI and a run scored.

Scranton will complete regular season play when it hosts Wilkes at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 30, at PNC Field, home of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.

The Royals will begin the Landmark Conference playoffs as the No. 4 seed and will face top-seeded Catholic on Saturday, May 4, at 11 a.m. at Catholic. Second-seeded Merchant Marine Academy faces third-seeded Moravian in the other first-round game at 2:30 p.m. The playoffs are a double elimination tournament with play continuing Sunday, May 5, and the championship on Monday, May 6.

Men’s lacrosse (8-6)

The University of Scranton men’s lacrosse team’s game at Catholic, scheduled for Saturday, April 27, was canceled at the request of Catholic.

The Royals will open the Landmark Conference playoffs as the second seed on Wednesday, May 1, when they host third-seeded Susquehanna at 4 p.m. at Fitzpatrick Field. Top-seeded Goucher hosts Merchant Marine Academy in Wednesday’s other semifinal. The winners meet in the championship on Saturday, May 4, at the site of the highest remaining seed.

Women’s lacrosse (9-5, 2-2 Landmark)

The University of Scranton women’s lacrosse team tuned up for the playoffs by posting a pair of victories last week, clinching the third seed in the playoffs in the process.

The Royals opened the week with a 16-12 at Oneonta State on Tuesday, April 23, in Oneonta, N.Y. Senior attacker Deanna Giorno (Warrington, Pa./Central Bucks South) led the way with six goals, and the Royals also received three goals apiece from senior midfielder Jilliana DePaolera (Kinnelon, N.J./Kinnelon) and sophomore midfielder Emily Goss (Morristown, N.J./Morristown) in the win.

On Saturday, Scranton completed regular season play with an 18-8 win over Drew in a Landmark Conference game at Fitzpatrick Field. Giorno scored a game-high five goals, including the 100th of her career, junior attacker Kerry Sullivan (Oceanport, N.J./Shore Regional) and Goss added four goals apiece, and senior attacker Kaitlin Lazorko (Philadelphia, Pa./Nazareth Academy) finished with five assists.

The Royals will open the Landmark Conference playoffs on Wednesday, May 1, when they face second-seeded Catholic at 4 p.m. in Washington, D.C. Top-seeded Susquehanna hosts Drew in the other semifinal. The winners meet in the championship on Saturday, May 4, at the site of the highest remaining seed.

Softball (13-16, 4-6 Landmark)

The University of Scranton softball team went 2-4 during the week, including a pair of Landmark Conference losses that knocked the Royals out of playoff contention.

On Tuesday, April 23, the Royals dropped a doubleheader against Wilkes, 13-4 and 7-6, at the Jessup Youth Sports Complex. In the opener, senior first baseman Jamie Shackles (Philadelphia, Pa./Little Flower) had four hits, including a double, to go along with two runs and an RBI. Junior right fielder Caitlin McHenry (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y./Walter Panas) hit her sixth homer of the season, a solo shot in the fifth, and senior third baseman Kristen Williams (Monroe, N.Y./Monroe Woodbury) had a single, double and a run scored.

In the second game, Scranton received a solo homer in the fourth inning from freshman catcher Jacquelyn Rossi (Eynon, Pa./Valley View), who finished with two hits, and doubles from Williams and sophomore infielder Stephanie Romano (Oak Ridge, N.J./West Milford), who scored twice. Sophomore outfielder Gabrielle Santarelli (Peckville, Pa./Valley View) added a pair of singles.

On Thursday, April 25, the Royals posted a pair of wins over Penn State-Abington, 12-3 and 7-6, at the Jessup Youth Sports Complex. The first game was the completion of a suspended game from April 4 in Jenkintown, Pa.

Williams hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning to put Scranton ahead in the second game. She finished with four RBIs and freshman pitcher Jamie Hampsey (Tunkhannock, Pa./Tunkhannock) struck out six and allowed only one earned run. Williams also had two hits and three RBIs in the suspended game and freshman Julie Pawlowski (Park Ridge, N.J./Park Ridge) had a three-run double.

On Saturday, April 27, the Royals dropped a Landmark Conference doubleheader against Susquehanna, 7-2 and 6-2, at the Jessup Youth Sports Complex. In the opener, freshman outfielder Maria Gentile (Jefferson Township, Pa./North Pocono) had a two-run single to plate both Scranton runs. In the second game, Williams hit a two-run homer for Scranton’s only runs.

The Royals will complete their season on Tuesday, April 30, when they host Muhlenberg at 5 p.m. at the Jessup Youth Sports Complex.

This Week in University of Scranton Athletics

Tuesday, April 30
Baseball – vs. Wilkes at PNC Field (5 p.m.)
Softball – vs. Muhlenberg (5 p.m.)

Wednesday, May 1
Men’s lacrosse – Landmark semifinal vs. Susquehanna (4 p.m.)
Women’s lacrosse – Landmark semifinal at Catholic (4 p.m.)

Saturday, May 4
Baseball – Landmark Conference playoffs at Catholic (11 a.m.)
Men’s lacrosse – Landmark Conference championship (TBA)
Women’s lacrosse – Landmark Conference championship (TBA)

Sunday, May 5
Baseball – Landmark Conference playoffs (TBA)

Monday, May 6
Baseball – Landmark Conference playoffs (TBA)


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