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Point Park softball sent home early from KIAC Tournament

April 24, 2015
Eight Point Park players were named to the KIAC All-Conference first and second teams.
From left (back): Jess Beitler, Becca Babincak, Karen Mao (Player of the Year),
Hannah Harley, Alyssa McMurtrie, Taylor Geary. Front: Carly Rosso and Gabi Vogt.


DANVILLE, Ky. – No. 2 seed Point Park University had its season come to an end Friday with a 1-2 record at the KIAC Softball Tournament.

The Pioneers beat No. 7 seed Midway (Ky.), 8-0, in the first round but lost to No. 3 Rio Grande, 5-2, and No. 4 Brescia (Ky.), 9-0, to end their season at 29-16 overall.

Point Park’s 8-0 win over Midway ended after five innings due to the mercy rule. The Pioneers made quick work of the contest that started at 12 p.m.

The Pioneers were next in action for a 4:30 p.m. start versus Rio Grande. And after being sent to the loser’s bracket as a result of that game, Point Park had to play the elimination game versus Brescia right after, the team’s third game of the day.

Point Park secured the opening win over Midway when it scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth, including a solo home run by senior Lauren Fevola to end it.

Freshman Jess Beitler hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the first to put the Pioneers up 3-0.

Point Park scored another run in the bottom of the third when Gabi Vogt scored off a single by Beitler to right, and the Midway (4-27, 3-23 KIAC) right fielder bobbled the ball.

In the bottom of the fifth, sophomore Alyssa McMurtrie hit a two-run home run to make the score 7-0 in favor of the Pioneers before Fevola’s walk-off solo shot to end the game.

Senior Kate Reese (13-8) tossed a one-hitter with one walk and one strikeout.

The Pioneers advanced to play Rio Grande, which beat Asbury in the first round, 1-0, in 10 innings.

Rio Grande (29-14, 17-7 KIAC) advanced in the winner’s bracket by scoring three runs in the top of the seventh to win, 5-2.

The Red Storm went up 2-0 on a home run by Gabi Gregg in the second inning.

Point Park cut the score to 2-1 with a single run in the fourth. McMurtrie reached on a walk and advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Natalie Zivic. McMurtrie scored on a liner down the left field line by Fevola.

Point Park tied the score in the bottom of the sixth when McMurtrie singled and advanced to third on an ensuing error by the pitcher. She then scored when Rosso reached on an error by the second baseman.

Rio Grande responded by scoring three runs on two hits in the top of the seventh, and Point Park could not recover.

Pitcher Hannah Harley (11-4) took the loss for the Pioneers in six innings. She allowed three runs on eight hits, walked three and struck out two. She pitched into the seventh inning before Megan Dyer took over. Dyer (1-2) put in an inning of relief, allowing two runs on one hit and walking one.

Point Park headed to the elimination round to face Brescia University (14-12, 13-7 KIAC) for a 6:30 p.m. game. Brescia lost in the first round to Carlow University (20-13, 13-11 KIAC), 5-4, then sent Alice Lloyd home by a score of 1-0.

During the regular season, Point Park won the series against Brescia, 3-1. Point Park’s only loss of the series was an 8-7 defeat when Stacey Harbold was on the mound for Brescia.

Brescia went with Harbold once again, and the result was that she held the Pioneers to one hit in the 9-0 victory for the Bearcats.

The Bearcats scored seven runs on eight hits in their first at-bat, included two doubles and a home run.

Reese (13-9) started and took the loss. Fellow senior Sarah Urchek came on to get the final out of the first inning and pitched 4.1 innings with two runs on five hits given up.

After the first session of games on Friday, the KIAC all-conference teams and award winners were announced at the game venue.

Point Park had several players honored, and most notably senior first baseman Karen Mao was named 2015 KIAC Softball Player of the Year. Mao had an impressive year with final stats after the regular season showing a .399 batting average, eight doubles, seven home runs and 56 RBIs in 42 games.

Earning a spot on the All-KIAC Softball First Team were sophomore shortstop Becca Babincak, freshman catcher Jessica Beitler, senior third baseman Gabi Vogt, sophomore center fielder Alyssa McMurtrie and senior pitcher Hannah Harley. Named to the All-KIAC Second Team were sophomore left fielder Taylor Geary and freshman right fielder Carly Rosso.