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Softball Knocks off DuBois, Falls In Extras to St. Mary of the Woods in USCAA Semifinal

Ava Miller vs. Penn State DuBois on May 19, 2021.
Ava Miller vs. Penn State DuBois on May 19, 2021.

After taking the first game with a late offensive explosion, the D'Youville softball team saw a nailbiting contest go the other way in its second game on Wendesday evening at the USCAA Small College World Series in DuBois, Pa., ending the Saints' season.

On day three of tournament action, the bats came out swinging for the No. 8 Saints as they racked up 16 hits to down No. 7 Penn State-DuBois, 13-3, in six innings. Wednesday afternoon's win sent the Saints into the semifinals of the elimination bracket with a trip to the National Championship on the line. Despite a seventh-inning comeback, forcing the game into extra innings, D'Youville fell to No. St. Mary-of-the-Woods College, 5-4, in eight innings

D'Youville completes the 2021 campaign with a 16-19 record and SMWC (19-17) will get another crack at Florida National, needing two victories over the Conquistadors to take home the USCAA Small College World Series crown.

Game One Recap – Penn State-DuBois 

For the third time in four USCAA World Series games, the Saints got off to a hot start in the first inning. Sophomore shortstop Maddy Pepke led off the game with a base hit to left field. Next up for the Saints was junior right fielder Mikaela Milleville and her double to center field drove the speedy Pepke home from first base to hand the Saints a 1-0 lead. Freshman first baseman Ava Miller continued the rally with an RBI single down the left field line and a fellow freshman, pitcher Lauren Booth, capped off the rally with another RBI double, this one to left field. 

After Booth held the Lions off the scoreboard in the first inning, DuBois answered with two runs in the bottom of the second inning courtesy of a two-run double from Cayleigh HuffmanDubois knotted the game at three runs apiece in the third on a base hit from Malliah Schreck, driving in Cierra O'Shell, who scored unearned after reaching on a throwing error.

Back-to-back doubles to lead off the fifth inning from Milleville and Miller put the Saints back up by one run. Booth grabbed her second RBI of the game on the next at-bat with a single to center field, and a fielding error by the Lions' centerfielder allowed Booth to advance 60 feet. Sophomore center fielder Carly Milleville kept the big inning going with an RBI double of her own to right field, and, following sophomore left fielder Maeve Finney reaching on a fielding error, senior designated player Alexa Haberer laced a double down the left field line to score Carly Milleville. Finney scored on sacrifice fly from freshman Lauren Vickers on the next at-bat. After Pepke beat out an infield single to third base, Mikaela Milleville smacked her second double of the inning to left field to drive in Haberer and Pepke, capping off a seven-run frame that put the Saints ahead 10-3. Milleville's third double of the afternoon was her fifth of the tournament and 11th on the season.  

The Saints tacked on three more runs in the top of the sixth inning to force the eight-run mercy rule after Booth tossed a scoreless frame in the bottom half of the inning. In Booth's second complete game of the tournament, she struck out one and walked one while surrendering two earned runs on six hits to pick up the victory.

Lizzy Scott got the start in the circle for the Lions and fanned six Saints, but she was tagged for six earned runs on 13 hits. Brooke Harvey came in relief of Scott and tossed the sixth inning, allowing one earned run on three hits while striking out one. 

Game Two Recap – St. Mary-of-the-the-Woods

D'Youville started off on the right foot once again in the elimination bracket's semifinal game, as Pepke for the second time on the day led off the game on a base hit to left field. After a single from Mikaela Milleville moved her to third, Booth picked up the RBI on a groundout to third base. 

D'Youville doubled its advantage in the third inning when sophomore catcher Jamie Bower put a single up the middle to drive in Mikaela Milleville. Booth tried advancing home as well but was tagged out on a play at the plate to hold the advantage at 2-0. 

SMWC answered in the home half of the third inning with two triples from Jaselyn Conn and Camryn Scott that cut the D'Youville lead in half. The Pomeroys took control of the game in the bottom of the fourth with three runs, highlighted by a two-run single from Lyric Krause, to take a 4-2 lead. 

The Saints threatened to tie the game in the top of the sixth inning with singles from Finney and Vickers, but a pop-out and a groundout to shortstop ended the scoring opportunity. 

Facing elimination and down to their last three outs in the top of the seventh inning, Miller took her payoff pitch to left field for a double to lead off the frame. Booth followed suit, reaching second on a fielding error by the SMWC right fielder as Miller advanced to third. Bower then picked up her second RBI of the game with a sacrifice fly to center field, and Carly Milleville drove the tying run in on a groundout to second base.  

Pitching in relief of senior pitcher Brittaney Goodrich, Haberer forced the game into extra innings, tossing a scoreless bottom of the seventh despite one Pomeroy reaching base on a fielding error.  

With Finney placed on second base to begin the extra innings, the Saints failed to move her over and left the frame empty-handed. Needing just one run to secure a spot in tomorrow's championship game, Kelsey Young singled through the left side to walk off D'Youville in the bottom of the eighth inning, ending the Saints' bid for a USCAA Small College World Series title.

Goodrich got the nod in the semifinal matchup, as the senior lasted 3.2 innings and allowed four earned runs on seven hits. Despite being tagged with the loss, Haberer weathered the storm in the circle for the Saints. In her 3.1 innings of relief work, the senior right-hander allowed no earned runs on three hits. 

Summer Rocha tossed all eight innings for the Pomeroys. In her complete-game effort, she struck out two, walked one, and allowed two earned runs on 12 hits. 

Notables – D'Youville's seven doubles in game one set a new USCAA World Series record ... Mikaela Milleville's three doubles also set a new single-game individual record ... The seven doubles were the most in a single game for D'Youville since before the 2012 season ... During that span, the Saints hit for six doubles in a 16-0 win over Franciscan on April 13, 2013, and again during a 7-3 triumph over Medaille on April 13, 2016. 

Pepke's three hits in the Penn State-DuBois victory and two hits in the nightcap defeat extended her on-base streak to 17 games and saw her reach 21 multi-hit games in 2021 ... The East Conference batting champion ends her season with just two hits shy of 100 in her collegiate career.