BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Moravian advanced to the title round of the Landmark Conference softball championships with a 4-1 victory over The University of Scranton in the second game of the afternoon for both teams on Friday. The top-seeded and 11th ranked Greyhounds (31-5) will have two opportunities to claim the conference title tomorrow while the second-seeded Royals (32-10) need three straight victories to win the championship.
Scranton will play for a spot in the championship round at 12:00 p.m. tomorrow against the winner of Saturday morning's first elimination contest between Susquehanna and Catholic.
Moravian took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning of Friday's winner's bracket game with three hits and an error by the Royals, but Morgan Rentzheimer (Allentown, Pa./Parkland) prevented any further damage by getting an inning-ending fly out with the bases loaded.
Kaitlyn Brogan (Oreland, Pa./Saint Basil Academy) and Megan Zinn (Bridgewater, N.J./Bridgewater-Raritan) opened the top of the third inning with back-to-back singles and moved to second and third on a sacrifice bunt from Mackenzie Duffy (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./Lackawanna Trail). Anna Price (Bordentown, N.J./Bordentown Regional) then brought Brogan in with an RBI groundout to cut Scranton's deficit to 2-1.
After the Royals stranded a pair of runners in the visitor's fourth, the Greyhounds restored their two-run advantage with a two-out RBI single in the home half of the frame before adding another insurance run the following inning on an RBI double.
Scranton brought the tying run to the plate with two outs in the seventh inning, but a deep fly out ended the game in favor of Moravian.
Rentzheimer tossed her 17th complete game of the spring and 60th of her career, suffering the loss with three earned runs against on seven hits and two walks while fanning a pair of batters.
Brogan led the Royals by going 2-for-3 with a pair of singles and a run scored while Zinn, Duffy, Maggie Donnelly (New Hyde Park, N.Y./Our Lady of Mercy Academy) and Brianna Lehr (Byram Township, N.J./Pope John XXIII Regional) had a single each in the loss.