May 23, 2010

By Dan Myers
Special to NCAA.com


EAU CLAIRE, Wis. -- The NCAA Division III Softball Championships saw its first rematch Sunday night at Carson Park, when Eastern Connecticut State and Christopher Newport met for a second time over the weekend.

Missing its starting pitcher in Friday's first meeting, ECSU was no match for Christopher Newport in an 8-0 loss in five innings.

With Molly Rathbun back in the fold Sunday, the Warriors exacted their revenge, winning 5-2 and eliminating the Captains from the tournament.

The win means Eastern Connecticut will play Linfield Monday at noon for a chance to play in the Division III national championship game.

Rathbun threw all seven innings for the Warriors, allowing two runs and six hits, walking four and striking out four.

Eastern Connecticut State rallied from an early 1-0 deficit, scoring two runs in the bottom of the third inning to grab their first lead. Katie Dinihanian singled to lead off the inning and was driven in on an RBI double by Ashley Sullivan. A sacrifice bunt moved Sullivan to third and she scored one batter later on a sac fly to left by Rathbun.

Jordan Beadles stole home in the next half inning to tie the game at two, but ECSU tacked on two more in the bottom of the fourth to take the lead for good. It was another single by Dinihanian that did the damage this time, knocking in two. She finished the day 3-for-3 at the plate. Kassondra Silva and Priscilla Alicea each added a pair of hits for ECSU.

Christopher Newport's Ashley Mani went 3-for-4 at the plate.