BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- The No. 8 Moravian College softball team clinched a berth in the postseason for the 24th consecutive spring as the Greyhounds outscored visiting Drew University 26-0 over 10 innings at Blue & Grey Field with a pair of five inning wins, 8-0 and 18-0.
Moravian is now 26-2 overall and 8-0 in Landmark Conference play under 24-year Head Coach John Byrne. The Greyhounds have qualified for the postseason in the last 23 years under Byrne, and Moravian needs to win two of its remaining four Landmark Conference contests to secure the top seed and right to host the Landmark Conference Tournament on May 5-6.
"It was good to clinch today and get into the playoffs, and now we need to take care of our two other big conference doubleheaders in Catholic and Scranton," commented Byrne. "If we can get some consistency hitting the ball, we'll be good. I was glad halfway through the first game that we started hitting the ball and obviously through the second game. Pitching and defense has been solid all year, now we just need a little offense to give our pitchers a little of a break from some of the close games we've had."
Junior Josie Novak tossed her third shutout of the week and ninth of the season in the opener as she scattered two hits and struck out six batters. Novak is now 12-2 on the season and became the ninth pitcher in school history and second in three days to reach 50 career victories.
Moravian took a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning as Martin drove in a pair of runs with a two-RBI single as Matos and freshman pinch runner Taylor Herman scored.
The Hounds would add six runs in the bottom of the fifth inning for the NCAA run rule. Freshman second baseman Lauren Goetz led off with a walk and scored on an RBI double by senior left fielder Julie Siragusa. Sophomore center fielder Kat Spilman connected on an RBI single before an RBI double by senior first baseman Abby Jeffries. Matos would contribute an RBI single while Martin had an RBI ground out. Senior pincher hitter Victoria Conner drove in the final run of the game with an RBI single.
Junior Amanda Carisone improved to 14-0 in the circle in the second game as she combined on a shutout with freshman Paige Lesher. Carisone allowed four hits while striking out one batter in three innings of action while Lesher tossed the final two innings.
Moravian had 18 hits in the second contest as the squad came one run shy of tying the school record for runs in a game. Sophomore third baseman Madison Shaneberger was 3-for-3 with three RBIs and one of the Greyhounds' six doubles in the game. Martin, Matos and Jeffries were all 2-for-2 with Martin and Matos each driving in two runs. Freshman right fielder Emily Stanilious added two RBIs and scored twice.
The Blue and Grey scored five times in the bottom of the first inning for the early lead. Jeffries had an RBI double before and RBI single from Matos and an RBI double by Martin. Stanilious reached on an error that scored a run while Goetz added an RBI single.
Moravian tacked on six more runs in the second inning to make the lead 11-0. Matos connected on her team-leading 18th double of the season to drive in the first run of the frame while Martin added another RBI single. Stanilious had an RBI fielder's choice before Shaneberger connected on a two-RBI double down the left field line and an error allowed the final run of the inning to score.
The Hounds added three runs in the third inning as freshman Colleen McCoy scored on a passed ball and throwing error after a walk to junior outfielder Jackie Marshall. Senior pinch hitter Lizzie Deutsch reached on an error that scored a run before freshman outfielder Samantha O'Keefe hit an RBI double.
Moravian finished off the scoring with four more runs in the fourth inning. Senior pinch hitter Chrissy Marinaro connected on an RBI single while Marshall had an RBI fielder's choice. After a passed ball allowed Marshall to score, Shaneberger finished off the game with an RBI on an infield single.
The Greyhounds are slated to return to action on Tuesday, April 18 in a non-conference doubleheader at Delaware Valley University with first pitch of the opener set for 3:00 p.m. in Doylestown.