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Courtesy: CAA
Hofstra's Olivia Galati


Courtesy: CAA
          Release: 05/11/2011
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HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (May 11, 2011) - Pride sophomore ace Olivia Galati threw a one-hit shutout and classmate Tessa Ziemba recorded a three-run shot in the bottom of the fourth inning as top-seeded and defending conference champion Hofstra blanked fourth-seeded Delaware, 9-0, in the opening game of the 2011 CAA Softball Championship at the Hofstra Softball Stadium in Hempstead, N.Y.

Ziemba was 2-for-3 with a home run and four RBI to pace the Pride. Six other Hofstra players also recorded hits on the day, including Galati and senior Sara Michalowski with a pair of RBI apeice. Freshman Michelle McKinnon registered the Hens' lone hit in the losing effort.

Galati allowed just one hit over five innings of work to take over the national lead in shutouts (16), striking out nine and walking one to improve to 28-7 on the season and extend her school records for wins and strikeouts (333) in a single season. Junior Amanda Stacevicz was credited with the loss for Delaware after giving up seven hits, six runs (five earned) with one walk and a strikeout.

With the win, Hofstra improves to 39-11 on the year and advances through to the winner's bracket to play the winner of No. 2 Georgia State/No. 3 Towson contest at 12:00 p.m. on Thursday. The Blue Hens, who fell to 21-33, will meet the Georgia State/Towson loser at 2:30 p.m. The fifth game of the championship will be played at 5:00 p.m, featuring the loser of the Noon game and the victor of the 2:30 p.m. contest.

The Pride jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first frame after Michalowski flied out to deep center to drive in sophomore Rachael Senatore for the game's first run. Senior Laura Valentino would hammer a long ball over the left field wall in the second inning to give her squad a 2-0 advantage.

In the third frame, juniors Michelle Lavagnino and Jess Hirschbuhl continued the Pride momentum with consecutive singles. Michalowski followed this up with her second RBI of the afternoon off a double along the right field line that drove in Lavagnino. Ziemba would push the Pride advantage to 4-0 with a double to shallow left that brought home Hirschbuhl, while Galati would then get on the board with a bases-clearing shot to center field to give the team a 6-0 lead.

McKinnon recorded the Hens' only hit of the day with a single to left field in the top of the fourth frame, but she would be thrown out on a close call at second after sophomore Lara Andrews reached first base on a fielder's choice. Stacevicz would pop out to Galati, who then fanned sophomore Gina Knutson for her seventh strikeout.

After Hirschbuhl and Michalowski reached on walks, the Pride would take a commanding 9-0 lead in the bottom of the inning after Ziemba sent a three-run shot over the right field wall on the first pitch of a two-out count.

2011 CAA Softball Championship

Wednesday, May 11
Game 1: #1 Hofstra 9, #4 Delaware 0

Game 2: #2 Georgia State (32-22) vs. #3 Towson (27-24), 5:00 p.m.

Thursday, May 12
Game 3: Hofstra (39-11) vs. Game 2 winner, 12:00 p.m.

Game 4: Delaware (21-33) vs. Game 2 loser, 2:30 p.m.

Game 5: Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 winner, 5:00 p.m.

Friday, May 13 (championship round)

Game 6: Game 3 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 12:00 p.m.

Game 7: same two teams (if necessary), 30 minutes following