By Steve Thompson
Welcome to the playoffs, Mercy softball.
The squad knocked off Dowling, ranked No. 7 in the nation, in the first round in a historic program win, yet fell in the semifinals to Molloy on May 6.
The .500 squad entered the ECC championships as the fourth and last seed against Dowling (40-5).
In the sixth inning versus Dowling, senior Paige Cauley singled to load the bases in a 1-1 game. First baseman Stephanie Owsiany blasted a single to center field, scoring the go ahead run.
“Owsiany has hit in the clutch for us all year,” said first-year head coach Mike Fazio in a press release. “We expect big hits from her, and she delivered.”
Owsiany also knocked in the first run in the fourth inning, tying the game at one.
Freshman pitcher Mary Sieber earned the victory on the mound, allowing only seven total runners.
Mercy’s offense eroded against Molloy as it could only produce two hits. Freshman Tayla Gardner scored in the second inning to take a 1-0 lead, but Molloy rallied with two runs in the bottom of the sixth to steal the victory, 2-1.
thus far. Conference wins are especially significant because they come against a team that knows you well and you’ll likely end up playing again in the postseason. The Lady Mavs have also performed well on the road this season with a 10-8 record.
The team has been streaky all year long losing five games in a row on separate occasions. Losing streaks like that are usually reserved for bottom feeding teams and not of one hovering around the .500 mark. A streaky team looks bad when their down, but oh-so-sweet when their playing well. The Lady Mavericks have put together winning streaks of at least two games on six separate instances. Their longest winning streak came in early April wind four consecutive against C.W Post, Bridgeport and Queens.
What’s kept Mercy afloat this season has been their bats. Since March 19th the squad has scored at least eight runs in 12 games.
Chelsea Methot has been hitting at a sizzling pace all year long batting .459 in 33 games also leading the team with 13 home runs and 36 runs batted in. Jenna Ausiello has performed well in her own regard batting 434 with a 736 slugging percentage.
Mercy then met Dowling again in a championship play-in game, but fell, 9-2.
The softball team (21-23) has come on strong late in the season. The team entered the playoffs coming off a three game winning streak including back to back thrashings of Bridgeport. Mercy would outscore Bridgeport 17-7 over the two game span.
More importantly the team has been a consistent during conference play tallying a 14-14 record