NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – For the second day in a row, McDaniel was playing for its season. For the second day in a row, the elimination game was tied after regulation. For the second day in a row, McDaniel prevailed - this time by a 3-1 margin over Ferrum in the 14th inning of Saturday's game at the 2012 NCAA Division III softball regional.
The Green Terror (29-13) was led in the circle by freshman Caroline Brehm (Hanover, Pa./New Oxford), who threw 214 pitches over the complete-game, 14-inning effort. She improved on her own program record with 20 strikeouts in the game, setting a new Centennial Conference record for strikeouts in a game in the process. She finished one strikeout shy of the NCAA tournament record. The 14-inning game was one inning shy of the longest Division III regional game. The 14.0 innings pitched is also a new conference record.
Erinne Warrenfeltz (Smithsburg, Md./Middletown) finally provided the clutch hit, delivering a bases-loaded single to left field that scored Amy Baumgartner (Hanover, Pa./South Western) to break a 1-all deadlock in a game that lasted 3 hours, 30 minutes and wreaked havoc with the tournament schedule.
Saturday's slate was scheduled for two more games but both were pushed back until Sunday after the marathon game did not finish until after 7 p.m. Sunday will now be a three-game day, starting at 10 a.m. with Roanoke and Christopher Newport. McDaniel will take on Salisbury, which eliminated top-seeded an No. 1 Emory 3-1 on Saturday, at 12 p.m. in yet another elimination game. The winner of the Green Terror and Sea Gulls will take on the loser of the Maroons and Captains in Sunday's final game for the right to advance to Monday's championship against the winner of Sunday's first game.
The Panthers (36-14) were limited to just five hits over the 14 frames, including a double from Shelbie Hall in the bottom of the sixth that tied the game at 1-all.
McDaniel got its initial run in the third inning. Beth Ann Fusco (Laurel, Md./St. Vincent Pallotti) struck out the lead off the inning but reached when a wild pitch got away.
She took second on a groundout before moving to third on a two-out wild pitch.
A fielding error prolonged the inning, allowing Fusco to stake Brehm and her team to a 1-0 lead.
When Fusco scored, Brehm was two batters into a stretch of retiring 13 straight before a two-out, full-count walk to Rachel Shumaker before Hall delivered the game-tying RBI to straightaway center field.
The Green Terror threatened in the seventh, eighth, ninth, 11th, 12th and 13th but couldn't push the go-ahead run across.
Ferrum threatened to end it in the 11th, 12th and 13th. Suzanne Plasters rapped a one-out triple before a popped up bunt turned into a double play to end the 11th. Hannah
Shumaker tripled with one out in the 12th but a groundout and pop fly ended that threat.
A pair of hit batters and walk loaded the bases with two outs in the home 13th but Baumgardner made a sliding catch in right center to send the game to the 14th.
With two outs, Baumgardner put a ball into right field just inside the line before Sam Stitely (Westminster, Md./North Carroll) worked a walk and Jordan Beans (Hanover, Pa./Hanover) drew a four-pitch walk to load the bases for Warrenfeltz.
On a 1-1 count, Warrenfeltz dropped her second hit of the day into left field, scoring Baumgardner.
After a pitching change, Jackie Liebowitz (Bellerose, N.Y./Benjamin N. Cardozo) was hit by the third pitch of her at bat to drive in Stitely with an insurance run.
Brehm worked around an error and third hit batter with her final two strikeouts to earn her 23rd win of the season.
Baumgardner and Beans also has two hits for McDaniel.
Senior Erinne Warrenfeltz and freshman Caroline Brehm join head coach Phil Smith in the media tent postgame to talk about the marathon win.