The Marist Red Foxes claimed their third Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title, first since 2013, when they defeated the Monmouth Hawks 3-2 in the championship game Saturday in Poughkeepsie, New York.
The Monmouth Hawks reached the championship game with a thrilling 8-7 win over Quinnipiac just prior to the championship game. The eight inning elimination game had been postponed from Friday, when rain halted it in the first inning. Chloe Howerth delivered the game winning hit, sending the Hawks to the championship round for the second consecutive season.
The Marist Red Foxes, the number one seed in the tournament, would need one win in two chances to gain the title. They started Jayne Oberdorf in the circle, who had not allowed a run in her previous two tournament games. She kept that shutout streak going for 5.2 innings in this game with masterful pitching, and solid defensive play behind her. The Red Foxes opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning when freshman Claire Oberdorf drove a pitch over the center field fence for a home run. Another homer, this time in the bottom of the fourth inning off the bat of Kyrsten Van Natta, increased the Marist lead to 2-0. But Amanda Riley, in the circle for Monmouth, kept the game close for her team.
A two out walk to Justene Reyes in the top of the sixth inning brought the tying run to the plate for Monmouth. Jill Freese then drilled a pitch deep over the center field fence to stun Marist, and lift the Hawks to a tie. In to the bottom of the seventh inning with the game still tied, Janna Korak led off for the Red Foxes with an infield single that slipped beyond the reach of both third baseman Ashalynn Umiamaka and shortstop Rachel Shotzbarger. A walk to Colleen McWilliams brought Brittany Colombo to the plate. Brittany hit a single to the shortstop area, and Marist head coach Joe Ausanio did not hesitate to send Janna Korak, who had gotten an excellent jump off second base, home. Janna slid just under the tag of catcher Jill Freese, and the Red Foxes streamed onto the field in a frenzy, champions after a long record breaking season!
Jayne Oberdorf was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, and she earned it, pitching every inning for the Red Foxes. She gave up just two runs in 21 innings pitched.
Marist is now 45-11, which will be the best MAAC record the NCAA selection committee has ever seen. Hopefully this means Marist won't be sent to an insurmountable regional. Stay tuned!