VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - A historic season for The University of Scranton softball team came to a close on Saturday, as the Royals bowed out of the 2019 NCAA Tournament with an 8-5 defeat to Manhattanville in a regional round match-up played at Virginia Wesleyan.
With the defeat, the Royals finish the 2019 season with a 32-16 overall mark, just the second time in program history they have gone over 30 victories in a season (Scranton won 33 games last year).
In the loss, Manhattanville struck first in the top of the first, scoring a pair of runs off of sophomore pitcher Jennifer Sweeney (Wind Gap, Pa./Dumont) to take an early 2-0 edge on the Royals. In the home half of the first, Scranton got on the board, as freshman Jessica Indelicato (Bethlehem, Pa./Bethlehem Catholic) scored on a Manhattanville error to cut the lead down to 2-1 entering the second.
After a scoreless second, Manhattanville plated a run in the third to go up 3-1, then four more runs in the fourth to take a 7-1 lead into the bottom of the fourth. There, junior Anna Price (Bordentown, N.J./Bordentown Regional) had an RBI on a fielder's choice that scored sophomore Maggie Donnelly (New Hyde Park, N.Y./Our Lady of Mercy Academy), making it a 7-2 game.
Manhattanville would add their last run of the game in the top of the fifth, and after quiet fifth and sixth innings for Scranton, the Royals faced a six-run deficit at 8-2 entering the bottom of the seventh.
There, Scranton made things interesting, as sophomore Mackenzie Duffy (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./Lackawanna Trail) had a two-RBI single that scored Indelicato and junior Casey DeSarno (Wall Township, N.J./Wall) to cut the deficit down to three runs. But, with a runner on and two away, a Scranton ground out ended the game, as Manhattanville moved on in the NCAA Regional with the three-run win.
Overall in the defeat, Scranton was only able to muster three hits off of Manhattanville starting pitcher Alycia Feeney, who moved to 17-1 overall with the complete game win. Sweeney, meanwhile, ended her season with a 14-8 record after suffering the defeat in the pitching circle.
Despite losing the game, it was a banner season for Scranton, as the Royals made it back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1983. The team also won their first-ever Landmark Conference championship since joining the conference in 2007 last week at Moravian, defeating Susquehanna in the championship series by scores of 5-2 and 7-2.