Comerford, Tatum boost Haverford to first NCAA tournament victory
MONTCLAIR, N.J. -- Haverford got off to a hot start in the 2014 NCAA Division III tournament as Dayle Comerford and Kristin Tatum combined for five RBI to lift the Fords to a 6-2 win against Wheaton (Mass.) in regional play at Montclair State on Friday afternoon.
Haverford (28-9) made history in multiple ways with the win over the Lyons (30-11). The NCAA tournament victory is the first for the Fords in program history and it also pushed their program-record mark for wins in a season to 28.
Haverford moves into the winners' bracket on Saturday against host and top seed Montclair State which registered an 11-1 six-inning victory against Farmingdale State in the second game of the day on Friday.
Starting pitcher Sara Tauriello (11-1) handled the Lyons' offense through her five innings of work and helped Haverford to its program-record 10th consecutive win. Tauriello, who earned second-team All-Centennial Conference honors earlier in the week, scattered six hits and struck out four batters without allowing a run during her time on the mound.
In the top of the third inning, the Haverford bats broke loose and opened the game up by scoring four runs. Elizabeth Newman got the offense going by leading the frame off with a single. After two outs, Jill Schnall singled to advance Newman to second. Julie Garlick followed with a sharply hit ball to the shortstop that was mishandled and Newman scored while Schnall and Garlick both moved into scoring position.
Then everything came unglued for the Lyons. Jen DiCandilo was able to work a walk and load the bases to bring Comerford up to bat. She drilled a bases-clearing double to left center that put Haverford up 4-0. The double was her fourth of the year and gives the first baseman 25 RBI on the season.
Emily Winesett spelled Tauriello on the mound in the sixth and allowed two runs to Wheaton, but was able to get out of the inning without any further damage.
Before the Lyons had a chance to think that they could get back into the game, Tatum assured Wheaton that the Fords were still in control. After a single from Comerford, Tatum belted a two-run homer to right field to put the Fords back up by four with a 6-2 edge. Tatum became the fourth player in program history to reach double figures in career home runs with the game-sealing blast.
Winesett went on to put the Lyons down in order in the bottom of the seventh to secure the Fords' first NCAA win.
Schnall went 3-for-4 from the plate and was one of three Fords to total at least two hits.
Haverford will take on Montclair State (37-6) at 11 a.m. ET Saturday.