By Michael Otero
On Friday, May 8, the softball team traveled to Manchester, New Hampshire to do battle with the Knights from Queens College in the first round of the NCAA East Region II Championship Tournament. Powered by sophomore pitcher Ashley Martin, the Pioneers punched their ticket to the next round.
The lone scoring inning for both teams came in the second with the Pioneers at the plate. After a single by junior catcher Paige Swantek, junior infielder Maria Palmeri gave the Pioneers a two-run cushion with a home run to dead centerfield. Martin tossed seven innings of shutout ball while striking out eight and walking none.
The Pioneers returned to the diamond once again on Saturday, May 9, but this time against the Penmen at Southern New Hampshire University. The Pioneers were again led by incredible pitching as they ended up beating the hosts by a score of 1-0.
The lone run came off the bat of sophomore infielder Kayla McCoy, who sent a solo shot to left field. Martin, one day removed from her impressive performance against the Knights, tossed another gem as she went the distance allowing only one hit and striking out two.
The final set of weekend games for the Pioneers was played on Sunday, May 10, against the same Penmen from Southern New Hampshire, but the stakes were different this time with the sub-region title on the line.
The Penmen got on the board first with a bases loaded walk which forced in a run in the fourth inning. The Pioneers evened up the scoring in the seventh inning on an RBI single from senior outfielder Samantha Miller.
The contest remained tied at one and extra innings were needed to decide a winner. In those extra innings, the Penmen had the last say as they won the game on a homer by junior infielder Lindsey Bolduc. Junior pitcher Isabella Corrao went 6.2 innings while striking out five and allowing just one run for LIU Post.
In the third game between these two teams in two days, the Pioneers suffered the same fate, losing 3-2 in a hard fought battle. Miller added an RBI in the second game as well as senior catcher Aly Dzierzynski. The Penmen, down by a run in the late innings, got help from the LIU defense for their last two runs of the game and ended up taking the game, title, and spot in the NCAA East Super Regional.
Head softball coach Jamie Apicella and his squad went an impressive 31-17-1 for the year and will look to build on their success for next season