NORFOLK, Va. – The Haverford College softball team secured the first major upset of the NCAA Regional Tournament as the Fords took down No. 2 Salisbury behind a dominant pitching performance and timely hitting. The Fords (25-19) got six shutout innings from Sara Tauriello before Kendall Chambers came in to lock down the save. Chambers also gave Haverford the game's only offense as she blasted a solo home run in the top of the fourth.
With today's victory, Haverford will advance in the winner's bracket and face fourth-seeded Saint Vincent. The Bearcats were 2-0 winners against top-seed Virginia Wesleyan. That winner's bracket game will take place at 11 a.m. on Saturday. Salisbury (34-5) will drop into the consolation bracket and play Virginia Wesleyan during Saturday's second game at 1:30 p.m.
Tauriello was simply outstanding for the Fords in the circle as she limited a Sea Gulls offense who was batting .388 to just two hits in 22 at-bats. Although Salisbury showed great discipline at the plate and forced the Fords' lefty to throw 135 pitches in her outing, while also working six walks, Tauriello stranded nine base runners, including a masterful escape from a bases loaded jam. Tauriello finished with six strikeouts for the game.
In the first, third and fourth innings, Tauriello and the Fords stranded two base runners during each occasion. In the first inning, it was runner called out of the box and fly ball to center that left runners on. The third and fourth innings also ended with fly ball outs, while a runner caught stealing at second ended the second inning.
Kaitlyn Guild had the game's first hit as she singled into right field with one out in the second. Miwa Wenzel and Chambers both followed with walks, but Salisbury cut a run down at the plate on a force play to escape the jam.
Chambers delivered the instant offense in the top of the fourth as she ripped a 3-1 pitch over the left field fence for her fifth home run of the season. Haverford also threatened in both the fifth and seventh innings. Rachel Wolfson doubled and Julia Blake singled to put runners on the corners in the fifth. Haverford also loaded the bases with three walks in the seventh.
Although unable to push across any insurance, Chambers' home run would prove to be all the Fords needed. Tauriello set down Salisbury in order during the fifth inning and got out of a bases loaded jam in the sixth with a foul pop up to Guild to close her day.
After providing the offense, Chambers put the clamps down on the victory as she pitched a 1-2-3 inning for her third save of the year. She got the first and third outs on fly balls to the outfield and took the second out of the inning herself on a strikeout.