Montclair State wins pitchers' duel
Amato's sacrifice fly boosts Red Hawks past Plattsburgh State
SALEM, Va. -- Sophomore third baseman Dana Amato lofted a sacrifice fly with one out in the bottom of the seventh to drive home the game-winning run as Montclair State slipped past Plattsburgh State 1-0 in the NCAA Championship on Friday.
All-American righthander Alex Hill tossed a two-hit shutout with eight strikeouts as MSU advances and will face Roanoke on Saturday.
The Red Hawks won the pitchers duel as Hill picked up her 31st win of the year setting a new MSU single-season record while also posting her 19 shutout of the year. Hill walked one as she won the battle against Cardinals' pitcher Ashley Marshall. Hill fanned six of the first eight hitters, including the side in order in the first, and allowed just a two-out bunt single in the third and a leadoff base hit in the seventh that would eventually be erased on an inning-ending double play.
Meanwhile Montclair State collected six hits in the game, but couldn't find a way to push a run across until the bottom of the seventh when ironically the Red Hawks scored without getting a base hit.
Stephanie Szeliga worked out an eight-pitch walk against Marshall to lead off the bottom of the seventh. Shannon Mozek moved her to second on a sacrifice before Szeliga pulled off a daring move swiping third base on a delayed steal. Jamie Paulino walked which brought up Amato. Paulino would take second on the first pitch as Plattsburgh elected not to throw down to second. Amato then lifted a fly ball that easily scored Szeliga as the Red Hawks earned their 10th 1-0 victory of the season.
Kelli O'Brien and Alisha Cumberton had two hits apiece for Montclair State, which also tied the school record with its 43rd win of the season matching the win total of the 2008 squad.