AKRON, Oh. – Tournament Most Valuable Player Hollie Jones was 3-for-4 with three runs scored as top-seeded St. Mary of the Woods College held off a charge from the second-seeded Cleary Cougars for an 8-4 2017 United States Collegiate Athletic Association title win on Thursday.
The championship win was the 11th in school history for St. Mary of the Woods (29-6) who have won crowns in 1996, 2000, 2002-05, 2007-08 and 2015-17.
Cleary (31-17) got on the board in the top of the first as Sarah Hall started with a walk and went to second on a Cheyenne Wallace single. Kaitlin Dormire followed with a single up the middle to plate Hall for an early 1-0 lead.
The Pomeroys answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning as Jones opened with a triple down the right field line and scored one out later on a ground out by Emma Riffe.
St. Mary of the Woods opened up some breathing room with a four-run third inning. Taylor Andrew opened with a single and went to second as Jones beat out an infield single. Both runners moved up on a wild pitch before Baylee Waters singled to left to plate the first run. Riffe followed with a single to right to score Jones and Camille Ulery plated the third run on a groundout. Marlee Yeager ended the scoring in the third with a double to score Riffe for a 5-1 lead.
The hits kept going in the bottom of the fourth as the Pomeroys put up three more runs. Nicole Niespodziany started with a single and advanced on a sacrifice bunt from Andrew. Following an out, Jones singled to third to move Niespodziany to third. Waters followed with a single to left which got by the left fielder to allow all three runs to score for a 8-1 advantage.
Cleary put up a rally in the top of the sixth with three runs as with one out, Wallace singled and advanced to second on a Dormire single. Sierra Burke singled in the first run with a shot to center and the second run scored on a wild pitch. An error allowed the third run to score as Cleary trimmed the deficit to 8-4.
Waters was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs, Yeager was 2-for-3 as well to join Jones in the multi-hit club. Andrew picked up the win throwing 5.1 innings and allowing five hits for St. Mary of the Woods.
Wallace was 2-for-4 to be the leading hitter for Cleary as they had five hits on the game. Riley Thompson took the loss throwing four innings allowing nine hits, and striking out five.
Julie Foeldes - Penn State Brandywine
Grace DeRosa - Penn State Brandywine
Sarah Lippeat - Judson (AL)
Allison Hryadil - Carlow
Riley Thompson - Cleary
Kaitlin Dormire - Cleary
Sierra Burke - Cleary
Stephanie Richardson - St. Mary of the Woods
Marlee Yeager - St. Mary of the Woods
MVP: Hollie Jones - St. Mary of the Woods