LAKEWOOD, N.J. – The Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) softball team (20-26) received two late go-ahead hits by junior Breck Urban as the Rams won a pair of games to stay alive in the CACC Tournament on Friday. Jefferson defeated Caldwell, 4-2 before outlasting Nyack, 1-0 in 10 innings.
The Rams are one of just three teams remaining in the tourney. Jefferson plays Wilmington (Del.) on Saturday, May 4 at 10 a.m. The winner advances to the championship round against Georgian Court at 12 p.m. with the "if necessary" game at 2 p.m.
GAME ONE – W, 4-2 vs. Caldwell
The Cougars got on the board early, taking a 2-0 lead in the first on a pair of RBI doubles. Caldwell had a chance for more runs in the third with runners at second and third and one out. However, senior Naomi Stas came up with back-to-back strikeouts to keep it a two-run game.
The Rams did not get their first baserunner until the fourth when junior Madison Heno reached on an error. Freshman Winnai Hoyt followed with Jefferson's first hit to put runners on the corners. Heno then stole home to make the score 2-1. After Hoyt stole second, senior Stephanie Pepper tied the game with an RBI single to right.
The game remained tied until the seventh. With two outs, senior Erin Maher singled through the right side. Heno followed with a base hit and went to second on an error to put runners at second and third. After a walk loaded the bases, Urban came through with a clutch two-run single up the middle to give Jefferson a 4-2 lead.
Caldwell was able to put two runners on base with two outs in the bottom half but Stas got a lineout to shortstop to end the game. The senior pitched the final five innings for the win. She did not allow a run and conceded just three hits with a season-high nine strikeouts.
- Erin Maher: 1-for-4, R
- Madison Heno: 1-for-4, 2 R
- Winnai Hoyt: 1-for-3, BB, R
- Breck Urban: 1-for-4, 2 RBI
- Stephanie Pepper: 2-for-4, RBI
- Katelyn Stys: 1-for-3, 2B
- Naomi Stas: 5.0 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 9 K
GAME TWO – W, 1-0 (10 inn.) vs. Nyack
The contest was a duel of pitching and defense. Both teams had multiple opportunities throughout the game to push a run across but timely pitching and sound defensive plays kept the game scoreless.
The Warriors turned two double plays to get out of jams. Stas induced groundouts back to herself to strand runners at third base. The Rams had an opportunity in the seventh when Maher tripled with two outs but a foul out ended the threat. Jefferson had another chance in the ninth with runners at first and third but a pop up kept the Rams off the board.
In the 10th, Hoyt drew a one-out walk and went to second on a wild pitch. Urban then came up big again, sending a base hit to center field. The Nyack centerfielder made a strong throw to the plate but Hoyt was able to avoid the tag and put Jefferson in front.
Stas retired the Warriors in order in the bottom half to clinch the win and send the Rams to Championship Saturday. The senior was brilliant, tossing a complete game shutout and allowing just six hits. She walked only one while striking out six. Stas threw 129 pitches with an impressive 91 for strikes.