YAPHANK, N.Y. — Making just her second collegiate appearance in the circle, freshman Allison Kaspar (Miller Place, N.Y./Rocky Point) tossed a complete-game one-hitter to help the St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn) softball team to a 1-0 victory over the College of Mount Saint Vincent in the doubleheader nightcap of their regular season finale on Sunday afternoon.
The Dolphins (16-10, 10-6) took the opener 11-6 to solidify their fourth-place standing with the Bears (16-19, 8-8) needing a sweep to leapfrog them for fourth. Both teams will meet again in three days in a rubber match in the first round of the Skyline Conference Championship—SJC making their second straight appearance after collecting a program-best fifth place finish.
Game 1: Mount Saint Vincent 11, St. Joseph's 6
The Dolphins took an early lead with two in the first, but the Bears retaliated with three in the second. A Nicole Quintana (Brooklyn, N.Y./St. Edmund Prep) got the Bears on the board, Jessica Vento (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa) knotted the game with a two-out single and Victoria Mahoney (Allenwood, N.J./Saint John Vianney) put SJC up 3-2 with another grounder.
But the Dolphins would regain the lead with two in the bottom half and pushed their lead to 8-3 with four more their next at bat.
A Jessica Mecham (West Jordan, Utah/Copper Hills) two-run double with the bases loaded highlighted a three-run fifth that trimmed the deficit to 8-6, but the Bears were held hitless their final two frames.
Alexis Buchanan (Murrieta, Calif./Murrieta) knocked three of the Bears nine hits with a 3-for-4 effort scoring once. Ashleigh Hartwig (Santee, Calif./West Hills) and Gabriella Salvador (Staten Island, N.Y./New Dorp) both kept their streaks alive with singles, Hartwig scoring twice and Salvador once. Mecham knocked the only extra-base hit for SJC and turned in the lone multi-hit effort.
Game 2: St. Joseph's 1, Mount Saint Vincent 0
The Dolphins threatened in the first after a Bears error and passed ball allowed a runner to third with one out, but Kaspar escaped the threat with a grounder and a popup.
The Bears manufactured the game's lone run in the second with Hartwig leading off with a single, moving to second on a grounder and SJC gaining runners at the corners on an infield single. A Brianna Baglino (Howard Beach, N.Y./St. Francis Prep) delivered Harwig as the game-winning run with a grounder and the Bears threatened for more standing the bases.
The one-run cushion was all that Kaspar needed as she carried a no-hitter into the sixth before a leadoff single spoiled the no-no bid. In just her second collegiate start, the rookie held the Dolphins to just one hit over seven innings, striking out one and walking one and improved to 2-0 in the circle.
Hartwig, Quintana and Jaden Mecham (West Jordan, Utah/Copper Hills) each assembled multi-hit games knocking a pair of hits.
For the Bears
- Ashleigh Hartwig batted 3-for-6 over the twin bill and extended her hitting streak to nine games—the longest streak by a Bear this season—and scored three times.
- With a pair of multi-hit games, Alexis Buchanan finished 4-for-7 with a double.
- Allison Kaspar fired the second one-hit shutout by a Bear this season.
- The nightcap win snapped a three-game skid to the Dolphins and was just the second win over CMSV in four seasons since joining the Skyline.
Next Up for the Bears
St. Joseph's will make their second-straight postseason appearance entering the 2019 Skyline Conference Softball Championship as the No. 5 seed and will face No. 4 Mount Saint Vincent in a first-round, single-elimination game on Wednesday, May 1. Time and location will be announced by the conference on Monday.