BROOKVILLE, N.Y. – Christina Berardi fired a complete-game one hitter and Kendall Bright hit a solo shot in the second inning, as the duo led second-seeded and 25th-ranked C.W. Post to its third regional title in school history with a 1-0 win against eighth-seeded Merrimack.
C.W. Post (41-14) wins its third regional title after advancing to the Division II Softball Championship in 2007 and 2008. The Pioneers will travel to Salem, Va. for the tournament on May 26-30.
The Pioneers needed only Bright’s home run in the second, as the second baseman’s opposite field bomb cleared the right field fence.
Merrimack center fielder Monique Gosselin made an outstanding defensive play in the third as Britney Agostini hit a long shot to dead center that forced Gosselin to make an over-the-shoulder catch while running into the fence.
C.W. Post had another chance in the fourth when Nicole Hagenah hit a two-out double, but was stranded as Merrimack pitcher Kelli Jo Deardorff induced a pop-up to end the inning.
In the sixth, the Pioneers would threaten again as Kaci Hopkins roped a one-out double. The next batter, Kerry Fisher lined a shot to center, but Gosselin again made a great defensive play, sliding to her knees and catching the sinking liner, then throwing to second to double up Hopkins.
But in the end, it would be all Berardi as the senior made due with the Pioneers’ one run. Improving to 24-6 on the season, she struck out five and walked only two in the dominant effort.
Merrimack’s lone hit came from catcher Kara Melillo, and Deardorff allowed four hits and struck out four on the mound. The Warriors conclude their season at 31-23.