Rockville Centre, N.Y. – A five-run two out rally in the top of the sixth inning, highlighted by a grand slam from graduate student Milan Botte (San Diego, Calif.), lifted the Molloy softball team to a 10-4 victory over the Warriors of Merrimack College, sending the team to the Super Regionals for the first time since 2013.
The second-seeded Lions (35-16), the visitors on the scoreboard, struck first as senior Ashley Fedor (Monroe, Conn.) hit a home run over the right field fence to five Molloy a 1-0 lead. A double from sophomore Kaitlyn Snyder (Smithtown, N.Y.) and a single from junior Olivia Banulski (Bristol, Conn.) brought up senior Erin Clinton (Long Beach, Calif.), who scored Snyder with a single up the middle. Banulski was brought in on another single up the middle from junior Sarah Rambo (Eagleville, Pa.) to give the maroon and white a 3-0 lead midway through the third inning.
Freshman Tiffany Mangiameli (Middlefield, Conn.) led off the home half of the inning with a single up the middle for the sixth-seeded Warriors (35-15). A two-run home run from senior Samantha Waskowitz (Killingworth, Conn.) brought Merrimack within one, 3-2, after the third inning.
A double from Fedor in the top of the fourth set up junior Alexandra Russo (Coram, N.Y.), who sent the ball flying over the left field fence to push Molloy back ahead 5-2. The dingers continued into the home half of the inning as sophomore Nicole Nanof (Goffstown, N.Y.) cleared the left field fence to bring Merrimack back within two, 5-3. The Warriors came within one run in the fifth inning on a double from junior Alyssa Williamson (Scarborough, Maine).
In the sixth inning, junior Tiana DeOliveira (Mastic, N.Y.) drew a leadoff walk, advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt from Fedor and taking third on a wild pitch. The two out rally began as Synder drove the right fielder in with a single up the middle. Clinton drove Snyder in with a single through the right side to bring up Botte, who crushed her fourth home run of the year to put the maroon and white up 10-4.
Sophomore Jenna Turato (Garden City South, N.Y.) allowed only two hits, striking out two batters through the final two innings to close out the victory for the Lions to improve to 17-4 on the season. Turato totaled three on the afternoon, surrendering one run on four hits through 3.2 innings while senior Chelsea Hawks (Wading River, N.Y.) struck out two through 3.1 innings of work.
The maroon and white will face No. 1 Adelphi University in a three-game series in the Super Regionals on Thursday (May 18), with the game time to be announced.
Provided by the Molloy Sports Information Department.