MANSFIELD, CT - The Western Connecticut State University softball team, behind an outstanding performance by freshman pitcher Alle Sabith (Meriden, CT), captured the 2013 Little East Conference Tournament Championship with a 1-0 victory over Rhode Island College at ECSU Softball Field on Saturday afternoon.
With the victory, the Colonials, now 23-22, earn an automatic berth into the NCAA Division III Championships which begin on Thursday, May 9 at a site to be determined on Monday afternoon.
Western will be making its 11th appearance in the NCAA Tournament. It is the third time Head Coach Heather Stone has guided her squad to the national tournament. She also went in 2008 and 2011.
Sabith allowed five hits over seven inning, struck out four and walked four in the tournament finale. In four tournament appearances (three starts), Sabith was 4-0 with a 0.63 ERA, two complete-game shutouts, 11 strikeouts and five walks in 22 1/3 innings. Opponents batted .195 against her.
finished 3-0 in the tournament. She allowed just two runs over 23 and 1/3 innings over four games. Sabith, who allowed just one extra base hit, is now 13-7 in her first collegiate season.
The freshman righty drove in the game's only run with a single to right center field, scoring pinch runner Brittany Virgulto (Meriden, CT) who came on earlier in the frame for Julia Bocek (Southington, CT). Bocek drew a walk to lead off the fourth.
Rhode Island College, which defeated the Colonials, 6-0 in the first championship game earlier on Saturday, threatened in the top of the seventh inning.
Following back-to-back walks from Sabith to lead off the final frame, a ground out to second by Jessica Borden (Lincoln, RI) moved Michelle Sylvestre (Warwick, RI) and Abigail Francis (Worcester, MA) to third and second, respectively. Katelyn Sykora's (Waterford, CT)suicide squeeze attempt was hit back to Sabith who easily tossed to Alison Russo (Danbury, CT), catching Sylvestre at the dish. M. Jandreau flew out to Corinna Hussey (Naugatuck, CT) in foul territory in right for the final out.
The Anchorwomen, which defeated host Eastern Connecticut, 1-0, in the elimination game at noon on Saturday, raced out to a 3-0 lead off Western starter Emily Cintorino (Bristol, CT) and never looked back.
Marissa Jandreau (Plainville, CT) was the hitting star for RIC. She went 3-for-3 and scored two runs. Stacy Pokora (Wilton, CT) was 1-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored for the winners.
Sylvestre earned the complete-game shutout victory after allowing four hits while striking out two and walking one for the 23-23 Anchorwomen.
Cintorino went four and two-thirds, allowed six runs, four of them earned on five hits. She struck out four and walked seven. Stephanie Moss (Brookfield, CT) mopped up over the final inning and third. She allowed just one hit.
Western will learn its regional destination and field of opponents on Monday afternoon. Site and schedule will be available at www.wcsuathletics.com as soon as the national selection show is completed.