MERION STATION, PA 4/29/2012 – With a chance to solidify a spot in the Atlantic 10 Softball tournament Saint Joseph’s Hawks Coach Terri Adams put the ball in the hands of her ace Senior Erin Gallagher. In the first game Gallagher shutout the Saint Louis Billikens in the first game 2 – 0. With the win Gallagher set a school record for wins with 63. In the second game Saint Louis unleashed some power hitting two home runs en route to a 5 – 3 victory.
“I’ll take my chances with Erin in any game,” said Adams. “She has more heart than a majority of any of the kids I’ve coached. If we are going to win a ball game I want it with her.”
Gallagher went 5 innings to get the win in the first game giving up three hits and striking out seven. Junior Taryn Ashway finished the final two innings to get her first save of the season. Saint Joseph’s got a run in the first when Junior center fielder Dana Parks scored from second on a single by second baseman Bernadette Moran. In the bottom of the fifth Moran batted in her second run of the game bringing home Freshman shortstop Nicole Palase. Gallagher set the record for wins. but winning the game meant more to her.
“We’re fighting for a conference spot with Saint Louis, so to beat them is more important,” said Gallagher.
The second game was a different story as Saint Louis jumped out to an early 2 – 0 lead. In the bottom of the fifth the Hawks went ahead as they loaded the bases thanks to two hit batters and a walk. Sophomore right fielder Maria Ficca made Saint Louis pitcher Hannah Huebbe pay for the mistakes as she doubled to deep center clearing the bases giving Saint Joseph’s a 3 – 2 lead.
The Billikens answered right away when catcher Alyson Brand homered off Ashway to tie the game. Gallagher reentered the game in the seventh, but gave up an opposite field home run to right by third baseman Kelsey Biggs. It was the third home run of the season given up by Gallagher. The Billikens added another run when second baseman Kerri Docking scored on a single down the third base line by designated player Laura Bohning.
The Hawks threatened in the bottom of the seventh getting the tying runs on base, but the game ended when a ground ball by Ficca hit base runner Junior Deanna Stinner to end the game. Gallagher took the loss giving her a 9 – 14 record. Kelcie Matesa got the win in relief. Saint Louis is 21 – 31 for the season, 8 – 10 in the Atlantic 10. Saint Joseph’s has an 18 – 27 record, and the Hawks are 7 – 10 – 1 in conference. Saint Joseph’s is still alive for a tournament spot. With a double-header sweep they could have gotten the bid. Their destiny is in their hands, but they must win-out in their final home series next weekend against Saint Bonaventure.
“We fought the most we fought all season,” Adams said. “We still have a shot to make the Atlantic 10 tournament if we take care of Bonaventure on Friday and Saturday, then our season starts again.”
Senior Day Notes
Saint Joseph’s celebrated Senior Day before the game began honoring Senior players Christine Bednar, Lauren Pembleton, Erin Gallagher, Bernadette Moran, and Alaina Loguidice. Coach Adams will remember this group for the closeness and their tenacity.
“That was our first recruiting class,” Adams said. They’ve been through so much adversity. They’ve been tight all year-long, going to lunches since freshman. They stayed together when their backs were against the wall.”
Christine Bednar OF – appeared in 4 games for the Hawks.
Lauren Pembleton P – pitched in 11 games pitching 20 innings with a 3.15 ERA.
Erin Gallagher P – set the school record for most career wins with 63. Started 24 games for the Hawks this season with 2.00 ERA. She has a 9 – 14 record to present. She has pitched 150.1 innings striking out 94 batters.
Bernadette Moran 2B – started in all games this season. Prior to today’s game she is second on the team with a .315 batting average and had a team-best On Base Pct. (.399). In the present season Moran was tied for the team lead in runs scored (21), and triples (32). She led the team in doubles (10), was second this season in RBI’s (20), Total Bases (59), Slugging Pct. (.465), Hits (40), and Walks (15). Described by her coach as “tough as nails that gives everything she’s got. A blue-collar kid that day in and day out comes to win a ball game.”
Alaina Loguidice 1B – started 42 games this season scoring 9 runs and walked 15 times. Good defensive player having only 7 errors in 405 chances.
The seniors have another opportunity to add to their Saint Joseph’s legacy.
Written By: Glenn Papazian