|Jennifer Sweeney||Megan Zinn|
The University of Scranton softball team will make their seventh all-time appearance in the Landmark Conference Championships beginning on Friday, as the fourth-seeded Royals open play against top-seed and host Moravian at 11 a.m.
The championships, which will be played in its entirety at Blue & Grey Field on the Moravian campus on Friday and Saturday, continue on Friday with a match-up between second-seeded Catholic and third-seeded Susquehanna at 1 p.m. The winners of the first two games will play at 3:00 p.m. Friday, with the winner of that game earning a berth in the championship round on Saturday. The losers of Friday's first two games will begin action on Saturday at 10:00 a.m.
Fans making the trip to Bethlehem to follow the Royals are reminded that admission will be charged at the gate: $7 for adults and $4 for seniors while children under 10 and all Landmark Conference students, faculty and staff with ID are free. If you can't make it south for the Landmark Championships, Moravian will be offering both live stats and video of all games here.
The Royals, who finished the season with a 28-15 overall mark and went 7-5 in the Landmark Conference, return to the Landmark Championships for the second straight season and for the third time in the last four years on Friday. Last year, Scranton advanced to the championship round for the first time, before falling to eventual conference champion Moravian.
For the year, Scranton has been paced on the offensive end by junior Megan Zinn (Bridgeport, N.J./Bridgeport-Raritan), who was named to the All-Landmark Conference First Team in the outfield on Thursday after finishing the season batting .478. Zinn also broke the program record for most hits (64) and doubles (20) throughout the course of the season, as well.
Meanwhile, sophomore utility player Jennifer Sweeney (Wind Gap, Pa./Dumont) enters the postseason off garnering a second straight All-Landmark Conference First Team selection for her stellar play in the pitching circle and at the plate.
The Landmark's leader in strikeouts (107) and complete games (17), Sweeney went 12-7 in the regular year with a 2.42 ERA. At the plate, she finished first in the conference in RBI with 41 and second in the conference in home runs with seven, while batting .344 with nine doubles and 28 runs scored for the year.
Moravian, meanwhile, finished the regular season with a 31-5 overall mark, 11-1 in the Landmark Conference. The Greyhounds are ranked 10th nationally in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division III Top 25 poll, as well.
In their regular season matchup back on April 7 in Scranton, the Royals gave Moravian all they could handle in a doubleheader, but the visiting Greyhounds were able to sweep the DH taking 5-1 and 4-3 victories over the Royals. In the doubleheader, freshman Jessica Indelicato (Bethlehem, Pa./Bethlehem Catholic) had five hits in two games to lead Scranton in a losing effort, while scoring two runs.
Against the other teams in the Landmark Conference Championship field, Scranton split a doubleheader with Catholic on Mar. 30 (W, 2-0; L, 6-5), while Susquehanna swept a DH from the Royals on Apr. 17 by scores of 4-3 and 6-3.