GETTYSBURG, Pa. – The Haverford College softball team advanced to the Centennial Conference Championship game for the fourth time in the last six seasons with a thrilling seventh inning comeback against Washington College. After that 6-3 victory, the Fords fell in the first of two championship contests to Gettysburg by a 14-6 score.
With both the Fords and Bullets having one loss in the tournament, those same two teams will play a decisive seventh game on Sunday that will get underway at 12 p.m. noon. That contest will ultimately decide the Centennial Conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Championship.
Haverford 6, Washington College 3
With a spot in the championship game on the line to start the day, Haverford found itself trailing by a 3-2 score heading to the bottom of the seventh inning before a grand slam from Emma Souter paved the way to victory for the Fords as two-out rallies were once again the difference in the contest.
Haverford took the lead in the top of the first when Jessica Koshinski singled to left field, advanced on a passed ball, and was driven in on Souter's RBI single to start the day. Washington College took the lead with two runs of its own in the third on three hits. The Shorewomen led by a 3-1 score after five innings with a two-out RBI hit in the sixth. Haverford answered that run with a home run off the bat of Julia Blake during the sixth inning, but still trailed 3-2 heading to its final at-bats.
Washington College got the first two batters of the seventh inning out before the big rally started. Nicole Swisher was hit-by-pitch but was called back to the batter's box before she singled on a 1-2 count to start the rally. Koshinski singled to keep the inning alive before Blake was awarded first base after a hit-by-pitch when she had two strikes against her. The two-out, two-strike rally reached its pinnacle when Souter fouled off a pair of two strike pitches before launching a grand slam over the left field to give her team a 6-3 lead.
With the lead for the first time since the third inning, Haverford starter Temma Levis retired the Shorewomen in order to finish off her second complete game in as many outings during the conference tournament. Levis scattered eight hits, allowing just two earned runs, and striking out six during her 11th victory of the season. Haverford's first through fourth hitters in the lineup each finished with multi-hit contests, highlighted by Souter's 3-for-5 game with five RBI. Koshinski and Blake also scored two runs in the victory.
Gettysburg 14, Haverford 6 (5 inn.)
With Gettysburg winning a pair of games in the consolation bracket to advance to the championship opposite the Fords, the Bullets got one of their two needed victories on Saturday night before darkness set in. Gettysburg scored during each of its five innings up to bat, but did a lot of that damage during a six-run second inning.
Haverford appeared poised to get right back into the game after the Bullets' big frame with five runs of its own during the third. Trailing 9-0, the Fords scored each of those runs with two outs. Ashley Sisto started the inning with a single into centerfield, but was standing on third with two down before Koshinski laced a single into center, scoring the first run. A walk to Blake and single from Souter loaded the bases before Marybeth Stone cleared the bases with a three-run double. Rachel Wolfson then doubled home Stone to make the score 9-5. Nevertheless, the Bullets added one more in the fourth and four more in the fifth to claim the victory. The Fords did threaten in the fourth and got an RBI double from Alex Craig, but Gettysburg was able to escape further damage by stranding the bases full of Fords. Haverford also had a chance with the bases loaded in the fifth but could not push across any runs to extend the contest.