Lakewood, N.J. (5/5/18) The Dominican College softball team suffered a heartbreaking 10-7 loss in extra innings to top-seeded Caldwell University in the 2018 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Championship game held this afternoon on the campus of Georgian Court University.
With two runners on base and one out in the bottom of the eighth inning, Cougar catcher Paige Sandoval produced the game-winning three-run home run over the left field fence to propel Caldwell to the 10-7 win and CACC Tournament Championship.
Caldwell used a three-run first inning to jump head, but the Lady Charger offense answered right back in the top of the second with four runs. Freshman third basemen Shalei Kraft (Waverly, N.Y.) used a one-out single to right field to bring home senior Jillian Regan (Staten Island, N.Y.). Two batters later, left fielder Rajene Bowe (Ellendale, Del.) delivered a two-run single up-the-middle to score Taylor Gilligan (Medford, N.J.) and Kraft. An infield single from sophomore Samantha Fitzgerald (Fishkill, N.Y.) allowed the fourth DC run to come home and give the Lady Chargers a 4-3 edge.
Dominican added two more runs in the sixth frame as designated player Alyssa Siess (Queens, N.Y.) laid down a sacrifice bunt which brought home senior Taylor Daniels (Watervliet, N.Y.) and Kraft followed with a run-scoring single to right field to extend the lead 6-3.
The Cougars countered in the bottom of the sixth as they scored four runs on four hits, including a pinch hit solo home run by Daniela Solis to regain a 7-6 lead going into the seventh inning.
In the top of the seventh down to their final out, senior Alyssa Schwed (Kinnelon, N.J.) extended the inning with a single through the right side and would later advance to second on a passed ball. Daniels rocked a double to right center field which allowed Schwed to score and force extra innings.
The bottom of the eighth inning saw the leadoff hitter for the Cougars receive an intentional walk and she moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. A second Caldwell walk put runners on first and second which set the stage for Sandoval's game-winning home run.
Daniels and Kraft both had two hits in the game.
The loss ends the Lady Charger season with an overall record of 26-20.
The Dominican College Athletic Department wishes the best of luck to seniors: #4 Schwed, #8 Daniels, #18 Regan and #22 Jenna Maska (Warren, Mass.)