Reighn hits walk-off, three-run homer to lift Caldwell to CACC tournament title
LAKEWOOD, N.J. -- Freshman Brielle Reighn hit a walk-off, three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning as Caldwell beat Georgian Court 4-2 to win the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference championship Saturday at the GCU Softball Complex. The CACC title is the Cougars' fifth all time and the first since 2008. Reighn was named the CACC tournament's most valuable player.
The conference championship also gives Caldwell (43-10) the CACC’s automatic bid into the NCAA Division II East Regional.
Georgian Court (31-27) took a 1-0 lead on a sacrifice fly by Taylor McDonough in the top of the first. Caldwell answered in the bottom of the second, when Megan Fryday hit a sacrifice fly that plated Nicole Velardi to tie the score. McDonough came through for the Lions again in the third, hitting a two-out single that brought home Alyssa Paradiso for a 2-1 lead.
The score remained the same until the bottom of the seventh. Kristen Knorr led off with a single up the middle. Caitlin McCready followed with a bunt single. A passed ball allowed Knorr and McCready to advance to second and third with nobody out, setting the stage for Reighn, who had two hits earlier in the game. Reighn launched a 2-1 pitch over the fence in center field, giving the game and the championship to the Cougars.
Kourtney Wilson pitched another strong game, holding the Lions to two runs on 10 hits to improve to 20-4. She is just the third Caldwell pitcher to win 20 games in a season, joining All-American Corinne Reiser (2004) and current assistant coach Brittany Pulido, who won 20 games in both 2010 and '11. Reighn went 3-for-4 and Alyssa Calderon went 2-for-3 at the plate.
Caldwell also won CACC titles in 2004, '05, '06 and '08 under head coach Dean Johnson. Georgian Court had eliminated the Cougars at the CACC tournament in each of the past four years, including the 2009 final.
Reighn was 10-for-14 (.714) with four runs, two doubles, a homer and four runs batted in through four victories at the CACC tournament. She was joined on the all-tournament team by teammates Velardi, Knorr, Dia Cascone and Amber Padilla.
The NCAA Division II Softball Selection Show is available online on NCAA.com, beginning at 10:30 a.m. ET Monday.