BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The University of Scranton softball team was defeated by top-seeded and 11th ranked Moravian in the Landmark Conference championship game on Saturday, 3-0. The second-seeded Royals advanced to the title round by defeating Susquehanna in an elimination game, 7-2, before falling to the Greyhounds, who claimed an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Scranton finishes a record-breaking season as the Landmark Conference runner-up while posting a 33-11 record as the Royals posted the most wins in a season in program history this spring.
Saturday's championship game loss brought an end the to the careers of seniors Kaitlyn Brogan (Oreland, Pa./Saint Basil Academy) and Morgan Rentzheimer (Allentown, Pa./Parkland) who led the Royals to 92 victories and two Landmark Conference playoff appearances highlighted by this spring's runner-up finish.
Game 1 vs. Susquehanna
Scranton faced Susquehanna for the second time in as many days after the River Hawks defeated Catholic 8-2 in an elimination game in the morning. The Royals also came out on top of the second day in a row, advancing to the championship game with a 7-2 win over the River Hawks, who closed their season with a 27-16 record.
Susquehanna took a 2-0 lead in their first at-bats on Saturday by getting a pair of run on three hits, but Scranton counted with three runs on two hits and one error in the bottom of the first to take a 3-2 lead.
Anna Price (Bordentown, N.J./Bordentown Regional) drove in the Royals' first run with a single before two runs scored on an error by the River Hawks to put Scranton in front.
The Royals maintained the one-run edge until the fifth inning when they plated four runs on four hits and one error to open up a 7-2 lead. Price and Casey DeSarno (Wall Township, N.J./Wall) connected on RBI singles before Maggie Donnelly (New Hyde Park, N.Y./Our Lady of Mercy Academy) brought home two more runs with a base hit through the left side.
Jennifer Sweeney (Dumont, N.J./Dumont) broke Isabel Mendez's single-season record set in 2008 with her 22nd start of the season and earned her 18th win of the year, tossing a complete game in which she yielded two runs on nine hits and one walk while striking out six batters.
Price, Donnelly, and Mackenzie Duffy (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./Lackawanna Trail) led Scranton with two hits apiece.
Game 2 vs. Moravian
The Royals entered the championship round needing two wins over Moravian to claim its first-ever Landmark Conference title while the Greyhounds need just one win in two tries to take the title. The Greyhounds (32-5) got the win in their first shot at the title with a 3-0 victory over the Royals.
Moravian got a leadoff home run in the bottom of the first and held the one-run edge until the fifth inning.
The Greyhounds added a run on an RBI single in the home fifth before adding a third run on an RBI double in the bottom of the sixth to account for the game's only three runs.
Trailing 2-0 in the top of the sixth, Scranton put a pair of runners on with one out, but were unable to push a run across as Moravian got a foul out and a strikeout to end the threat.
Down to their last out in the seventh inning, the Royals got back-to-back singles to bring the tying run to the plate, but a fly out to centerfield ended the game.
Sweeney pitched her second complete game of the day, and fanned two batters while yielding three runs on nine hits and one walk.
Duffy, DeSarno, Donnelly, and Allie Hotchkiss (Baldwinsville, N.Y./Charles W. Baker) accounted for Scranton's four hits in the contest, all of which were singles.