PHILADELPHIA – Heading into Sunday's Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) doubleheader against Georgian Court, the Philadelphia University softball team needed two victories to qualify for the conference tournament for the first time since 2014. The Rams would pass their unofficial playoff test with flying colors, picking up the most important sweep of the season, 8-4 and 6-0, to reach the CACC Tournament.
With the two wins, Philadelphia closes out the regular season with a 21-26 overall record—the team's first 20+-win season with 2014. The Rams will be the seventh seed for the CACC Tournament after going 13-13 against the conference.
Philadelphia opens the double-elimination CACC Tournament on Thursday, May 4 against Holy Family University at 10 a.m. at Georgian Court University.
In the opening contest, the Rams rattled off seven straight runs—six coming in the fifth inning—to erase an early 3-0 deficit. Monica Levins got the Rams on the board with a third-inning bases-loaded RBI single, part of a 3-for-4 game. In the fifth, Philadelphia scored six times on six hits to take a 7-1 lead. Jovanna Alfonsi started the rally with a two-run double to right-center field to tie the score. Two batters later, Breck Urban put the Rams in the lead with a double to drive in two runs. Megan Letos added a RBI groundout and Shannon Weaver knocked in a run with an infield single in back-to-back at-bats.
The teams traded two-out RBI singles in the sixth inning.
Philadelphia pounded out a season-high 16 base hits. The Rams are now 8-1 when they get 10 or more hits. Urban finished the game with three hits and three RBI, while Kayla Henry-Caltabellota added three runs.
Kelly Hardiman kicked off the scoring with a first-inning RBI double. Cassandra Varvaro and Bryana Smith added back-to-back singles in the second to increase the Georgian Court (14-31, 11-15 CACC) lead to 3-0.
Naomi Stas fanned six Lions while allowing seven hits in a complete-game win—her 10th win of the year. Jessica O'Neill took the loss for Georgian Court.
Game two was a scoreless duel between Stephanie Pepper and Marissa Trezza for the first four innings.
Then, the Philadelphia offense got to Trezza in the bottom of the fifth. With two outs and Letos and Stas on base, Levins' hot bat struck again as she drilled a three-run home run to left field, her second of the year, to put the Rams up 3-0.
Philadelphia tacked on three more runs in the sixth to double the lead to six. Courtney Wensel had a RBI double, Letos drove in one with a single, and Stas recorded a RBI groundout.
Led by two hits each from Levins and Wensel, the Rams finished the game with seven hits.
Pepper surrendered just four hits and fanned eight to reach 10 wins. Trezza left the game with two outs in the sixth after allowing six runs on seven hits and walked two.