Union, NJ – Top-seeded Lebanon Valley College used a three-run sixth inning outburst to come from behind and eliminate third seed Husson University 3-1 in the Union Regional of the 2014 NCAA Division III Championship on Sunday.
Haley Neff earned the win in the circle for Lebanon Valley.
Allie Hartman singled to lead of the second inning for LVC, and got to third with two outs. Neff lined a hard-hit ball up the middle but pitcher Kayla Merrill (Bethel, ME) reached up to grab the liner and save a run for the Eagles.
Husson stranded two runners in scoring position in the third; Jess Poulin (Albion, ME) made a good play on a tricky bounce to end the frame for the Eagles.
In the fourth inning, Husson strung together back-to-back-to-back singles by Lyndsay Merrill (Bethel, ME), Breanna Martin (Oxford, ME) and Casey Lopes (New Bedford, ME) to push across the first run of the game. K. Merrill came back out and worked a 1-2-3 inning to keep the momentum with the Eagles.
Down to their final five outs of the season, Dutchmen Sam Derr and Allie Hartmann stroked back-to-back doubles to the same spot on the right-centerfield wall to tie the game.
Then with two outs, Katie Deardorff pounded a go-ahead two-run homerun – the first of the senior's career in 455 at-bats - into the rightfield bleachers, giving LVC a 3-1 lead.
There was a ton of drama in the bottom of the seventh. Lopes and Poulin singled to start the frame and an error loaded the bases for Husson with one out.
The Dutchmen went to the bullpen, summoning ace Derr. The senior lefty got the next two batters without allowing a run to save the season for the Dutchmen.
Lebanon Valley will play again at 2:00 p.m. against Kean University for the right to advance to the NCAA Super Regionals series. They will need to defeat the Cougars twice to advance
Husson has been eliminated from the NCAA Championship and ends its season with a 31-12 record. Click here to see the postgame interview with K. Merrill, Martin, and Poulin: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qwqm_oqAWZU.
Union Regional All-Tournament Team
Mariah Crisp, SO, P, Keene State
Kayla Merrill, JR, P, Husson
Jess Poulin, JR, SS, Husson
Allie Hartman, SR, 1B, Lebanon Valley
Katie Deardorff, SR, 2B, Lebanon Valley
Sam Derr, SR, DP, Lebanon Valley
Jill Martin, SR, C, Kean
Sandra Binkiewicz, SR, CF, Kean
Courtney Yard, JR, P, Kean
Most Outstanding Player - Kelly Moorehead, SR, SS, Kean