NORFOLK, Va. – The Haverford College softball team ran off its sixth straight postseason victory with a bizarre 1-0 win against Saint Vincent on Saturday morning. The Fords (26-19) advanced to the NCAA Regional Championship game on a run that scored via an error in the top of the seventh inning. That run was held up by a five-hit shutout from Kendall Chambers who got great defensive help behind her all morning.
The Fords' game-winning run came following a leadoff walk to Kristin Tatum in the top of the seventh. A ground out to third advanced Tatum to second. However, the play was far from over as an errant throw trying to catch Tatum off guard at second base sailed all the way to the outfield fence and allowed the Fords' senior to come all the way around after starting at first base on the play.
Haverford will appear in the regional finals for the second time in the past three seasons. The Fords can make their first trip to the NCAA Super Regionals with a win in either of the two potential games on Sunday. The first championship game, which will be played against No. 2 Salisbury, is scheduled for 12 p.m. The Fords topped the Sea Gulls by a 1-0 score in the very first game of the regional tournament.
Saturday's battle between the two teams who knocked off the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the entire country was definitely a pitcher's duel as Chambers allowed just five hits behind a standout defense as she got one strikeout on the afternoon. Saint Vincent's Samantha Emert did not allow her first hit of the afternoon until an infield single in the bottom of the seventh after Haverford had already taken the lead.
The two teams did not get a runner into scoring position until the bottom of the third when the Bearcats had a one-out single moved up to second base on one of Julia Blake's program-record nine assists during the game. Another ground out to Blake left that runner stranded at second.
For the Fords in the circle, Chambers was in control all afternoon as four of the five hits she allowed came with two outs. During each occasion, she came right back to retire the next hitter before any further damage could be done.
Chambers pitched perfect 1-2-3 innings in the fourth and seventh innings. Her day came to a close with three great defensive plays that included a diving stop by Blake, a great throw on a bunt from Jessica Koshinski and a running grab near the right field foul line from Emily Winesett.