Babson Park, MA - Senior LeAnne Miller (Vineland, N.J.) tossed a two-hit shutout and junior Krysti Maronski (Woodbury Heights, N.J.) scored the game-winning run on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the sixth inning as second-seeded Rowan University topped seventh-seeded Husson University, 1-0, in game four of the Babson Park Regional on Friday afternoon at Alumni Field.
With the victory, Rowan moves to 38-7 on the season while Husson, which lost for only the third time since early April, falls to 30-11-1 overall.
Miller retired the first 11 batters she faced, and prior to giving up a pair of singles in the top of the seventh inning, had allowed just one base runner on Husson senior Aimee Mortensen's (Biddeford, Maine) single with two outs in the fourth. Miller (22-3), who has won 20 of her last 21 decisions, struck out five and lowered her ERA to 0.94 on the season.
Junior Amanda Ryan (Brewer, Maine) tossed her seventh complete game of the season for the Eagles, falling to 10-4 on the season. She gave up just the one earned run on six hits and a walk while recording 12 groundball outs against a potent Rowan lineup.
The Profs got a hit in every inning but the fourth and their best scoring opportunity until late came in the second inning. Sophomore Alysa Romero (Newfield, N.J.) reached on a fielder's choice with one out and two batters later sophomore Katie Bussman (Brick, N.J.) put runners on second and third with a double that was touched by Husson third-baseman Victoria Overlock (Belfast, Maine) in front of third base before spinning into foul ground. Ryan worked out of the jam, though, inducing a groundout to shortstop to keep the game scoreless.
Rowan finally broke through in the bottom of the sixth inning as Maronski hit a one-out single up the middle and junior Meagan Lee (Mays Landing, N.J.) followed with a walk. First-year Christina Lee (Galloway, N.J.) came on as a pinch runner at first base and both runners moved up on a wild pitch by Ryan before Romero hit a sacrifice fly to foul territory deep down the right field lane to plate Maronski and pushing the Profs ahead 1-0.
Husson's best scoring opportunity came in the top of the seventh inning as Mortensen and sophomore Kayla Merrill (Bethel, Maine) both singled around a fielder's choice by sophomore Deb Colpitts (Levant, Maine) to put runners on first and second with two outs. First-year Breanna Martin (Oxford, Maine) was called upon to pinch hit, but Miller, who had retired seven straight batters heading into the final inning, buckled down and induced a pop up to shortstop to end the game.
Rowan advances to face regional host Babson in a winnners' bracket game at a time to be determined on Saturday morning while Husson will take on Bridgewater State in an elimination game at 3:00pm on Friday.
GAME NOTES: Friday's contest marked the first-ever meeting between Rowan and Husson...The Profs, which are making their 21st NCAA Tournament appearance, tying them for the third-most of any program in the 62-team field, has now won their opening NCAA Regional game in each of the last two seasons...Husson has dropped its opening round NCAA Regional game in five straight Championships.