Seniors Kelly Siano and Julie Monaghan each played a pivotal role in one of the two victories the Garnet softball team enjoyed over visiting McDaniel in Sunday’s season-ending doubleheader. Siano’s home run in the first game and Monaghan’s double in the bottom of the seventh each sealed a victory for Swat, who qualify for the Centennial Conference playoffs for the second year in a row, an unprecedented feat for the softball program.
Siano’s long drive over the right field fence was the clincher in the bottom of the 5th inning that completed the Garnet’s comeback from a three-run deficit during a big 3rd inning at the plate for the visiting Green Terror. Slipshod fielding and freshman hurler Kathryn Riley’s nervousness with the bases loaded led to McDaniel seemingly busting the game open. Not to be deterred, the Garnet put together a nice rally of their own in the bottom of the inning that evened things up.
Riley calmed down after the turbulent 3rd inning to pitch four more pretty trouble-free innings, even as McDaniel’s pitcher got considerably wilder after being called for illegal motion in her windup. A rattled pitcher and hot Garnet bats, particularly Riley’s, Siano’s, and sophomore second baseman Christine Sendelsky’s, led to Swat’s 5-3 lead after the 4th inning and then Siano’s beautiful game- and playoff-clinching shot over the fence. The Garnet held on for two more innings after that before Siano tagged first base with her foot to retire the final McDaniel side and clinch the victory Swat needed to enter the playoffs.
The second game featured nothing like Swat’s powerful offensive answer to McDaniel until the bottom of the seventh inning. The Green Terror effectively held off the Garnet until that time, when Swat, who had not been shut out the entire season, finally tried to get their goose egg off the scoreboard. Sendelsky’s leadoff single led into junior Katie Gold’s double which produced fruit when Siano’s single drove in Sendelsky and frosh Michele Perch’s single brought in Gold. So with the score 3-2, Monaghan sent a double to left-center that scored her classmate Siano and Perch and ended the game. Senior Marianne Klingaman earned the victory, giving up 8 hits to freshman Riley’s 5 hits allowed in the first game.
The Garnet (21-11, 11-5 CC) are now seeded second in the Centennial Conference playoffs, which begin on Saturday at top-seeded Ursinus. Swarthmore will face third-seeded Gettysburg at 10 a.m. on Saturday, a matchup that looks auspicious for the Garnet, who defeated the Bullets 3-1 and 9-6 in a doubleheader back on April 14th.