October 01, 2017
After falling in the first game of the 2017 Landmark Conference Softball Tournament, Susquehanna softball reacted with a never-give-up attitude. The River Hawks needed four consecutive victories in the double-elimination tournament to achieve an unthinkable conference tournament title and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The team had lost its tournament opener, 8-2, to Catholic University and was trailing 1-0 to Juniata in the fourth inning before senior Lauren Creamer started a rally that would lead to a come-from-behind victory over the Eagles. Three victories the next day, including two over top-seeded Moravian, propelled the River Hawks to the Landmark Championship win.
“I’m pretty sure not a lot of people gave us much of a chance to come back and win the championship,” says Head Softball Coach Brad Posner. “I was a little worried myself after losing the opener, but after beating Juniata, I thought we had some momentum.”
The River Hawks jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning in their first matchup against Moravian, and despite allowing a pair of runs in the bottom half of the inning, they held on for an eventual 4-2 win to force a final championship game against the Greyhounds.
Moravian took the lead early in the second game, but Leigh Ann Greenwald ’18 started a two-out rally with a run-scoring single, followed by senior Kelly Miller’s RBI single to tie the game 2-2. Junior Jill Ahrens’ two-run double capped a four-run inning, giving SU a 4-2 lead. Creamer then connected on a two-out run-scoring single in the fifth inning to pad the lead to 5-2 and set up a dramatic end to the tournament.
Moravian started the final inning with a solo home run to trim SU’s lead, and Moravian’s top hitter lifted a long fly ball to the warning track, but centerfielder Kasandra Bost ’20 made the catch, ending the game.
Jamie Fesinstine ’18 was selected as the tournament MVP after pitching every inning of every game in the tournament for SU. She threw more than 500 pitches and managed to get key outs in the final four-game run for the River Hawks.
“I’m proud of how everyone contributed to the wins and the championships,” Posner says. “I knew Jamie was going to have to pitch great for us to win, and her senior leadership came shining through.”