NEWPORT, R.I. (May 2, 2019) -- Former Salve Regina University softball player Elizabeth Lombardo (Thomaston, Conn.) reached base in all four plate appearances and scored three runs as No. 5 Roger Williams University bested the No. 4 Seahawks, 5-3, in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) softball playoff action at Toppa Field on Thursday afternoon. The Hawks (19-20) advance to play top-seeded Endicott College, which was inactive today due to unplayable conditions in Beverly, Mass.; Salve Regina (21-19) has an elimination game with No. 6 Nichols College at the Gordon College ballfield in nearby Wenham, Mass.
No. 7 Gordon stays alive in an elimination game today, ousting defending champion and No. 3 Western New England, 2-1, in Biddeford, Maine. No. 2 University of New England won its second straight game in the tournament, 11-3 over the Bison, to send Nichols to the loser's bracket. The Bison had handed the Golden Bears their first loss of the postseason yesterday in Springfield, Mass.
Roger Williams took a 1-0 lead in its first at bat with Lombardo, a second-team All-CCC third baseman, leading off with an infield single. She advanced to second on a passed ball and came around to score on back-to-back ground outs up the middle.
A third-team All-CCC third baseman, Nikki Vanelli (Quakertown, Pa.) led off the Seahawk second inning with a double to right center and Salve Regina had runners at the corners with one out. Hawks' starting pitcher Lia Nocella (Tyngsboro, Mass.) preserved the 1-0 lead with a strikeout and fly out.
Lombardo reached on a fielder's choice with one out in the third. After a walk advanced her to second, she scored the second run of the day on a single by Alyssa Murray (Glen Brook, N.J.). The Seahawks had runners at the corners again in the third but could not cross the plate. Nocella got a 1-2-3 frame in the fourth.
Freshman Alex Lombardo (Thomaston, Conn.), younger sister of Elizabeth, singled in two runs in the fifth including her sister who led off the inning with a base on balls. Murray had singled Elizabeth Lombardo to third, and pinch-runner Taylor Chatowsky (North Kingstown, R.I.) swiped second before following Elizabeth home on Alex's single for a 4-0 lead.
Katrina Goria (Wyckoff, N.J.) led off the sixth with a single and scored her team's fifth run on a two-out infield single by second-team All-CCC outfielder Sydney Provencal (Cumberland, R.I.).
The Seahawks had the tying run at the plate in the bottom of the sixth after scoring twice. With one out, Vanelli and second-team All-CCC catcher Holly Kathios (Pelham, N.H.) singled before Megan Guest (Meriden, Conn.) doubled to left, scoring Vanelli. Roger Williams brought in reliever Hailey Pretchel (Glenmont, N.Y.) and third-team All-CCC outfielder Jaycee Garrigan (Uxbridge, Mass.) greeted her with an RBI infield single that scored Kathios.
Guest was caught stealing third by Roger Williams catcher Micaela Pohl (Middleboro, Mass.) who gunned down all four would-be Seahawks basestealers including the final out of the game.
Also of note, right fielder Tara Chatowsky (North Kingstown, R.I.) collected three singles to lead all players at the plate.