LAKEWOOD, N.J. – The Felician College softball team advanced to Day 2 of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Tournament with an 8-0, five-inning opening round victory over No. 2 seed Caldwell College on Thursday morning on the campus of Georgian Court University. Later on Thursday, Felician, the No. 7 seed, fell into the losers' bracket with a 4-2 setback to No. 6 seed Bloomfield College.
In the opening round, Felician (17-33) ended a 14-game losing streak to Caldwell, defeating the Cougars for the first time since the 2005 regular season. It was also the first playoff victory for the Golden Falcons since 2007. Caldwell (37-13) is the No. 5-ranked team in the most recent NCAA Division II East Regional Poll.
Felician battered three Cougar pitchers for 13 base hits in the middle three innings. Freshman Ciera Clark (Granite Bay, CA) jump started the Golden Falcon offense with a long solo home run in the second inning, then followed that effort up with a three-run shot in the third. Clark finished 3 for 3 with four RBI.
The Golden Falcons put the game away in the fourth inning on an RBI double from Aimee Lopez (Riverbank, CA) and a three-run home run by Carissa Trujillo (Fresno, CA). Trujillo was one of four Felician starters to go 2 for 3 in the game.
Felician pitcher Kristen Tenwolde (Ramona, CA) made the offense stand up with a two-hit shutout. Tenwolde struck out one batter and walked one, and never had two runners on base in the same inning. Clark, Trujillo, and Zharde Sellona (Aliso Viejo, CA) scored two runs each for the Golden Falcons.
Felician advanced to take on Bloomfield, a first-round victor over No. 3 seed and tournament host Georgian Court. Tenwolde blanked the Deacons on four hits over the first five innings, allowing her teammates to scratch out a pair of runs for a 2-0 lead.
Bloomfield (31-20), however, broke through in the bottom of the sixth. After a walk and a hit to start the inning, Tenwolde threw a sacrifice bunt attempt past third base to allow her first run of the tournament, leaving runners on second and third and none out.
Second-baseman Halei Van Dyke (West Milford, NJ) cut down the potential tying run at the plate on a grounder with the infield in, and a flyout with no advance set up a confrontation with Bloomfield's No. 9 hitter, Tracey Stern (West Long Branch, NJ). With a 3-and-2 count, Stern fouled off a pitch before blasting a 3-run opposite field home run for the 4-2 lead. Alexandria Smith (Killeen, TX) took over for Deacon starter Ally Schraer (Paramus, NJ) and retired Felician in order in the seventh for the save.
Both Felician runs came with two outs as well, on RBI singles by Taylor Parker (Surrey, B.C.) in the fourth inning and Lopez in the fifth. Stern finished 2 for 3 for Bloomfield.
Felician takes on Holy Family University in the losers' bracket on Friday at noon at Georgian Court. The winner of that game plays again at 2 p.m.