GEORGIA STATE EARNS FIRST CAA SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE WITH 2-0 WIN OVER HOFSTRA
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (May 13, 2011) - Junior Alana Thomas pitched a complete game shutout to lead Georgia State to a 2-0 win over top-seeded Hofstra and its first league title in school history in Friday's game seven of the CAA Softball Championship at the Hofstra Softball Stadium in Hempstead, N.Y.
With the title, the Panthers (36-23) earn the league's automatic berth into next week's NCAA Softball Championship. The brackets will be revealed on Sunday at 10:00 p.m. on ESPNU.
Thomas was named the championship's Most Outstanding Performer following the game. She went the distance for the Panthers, allowing just three hits while walking one and striking out two in seven innings of work.
Joining Thomas on the All-Tournament team were senior Lauren Jones, sophomore McCall Langford and junior Emily Whitaker. Hofstra had three players named to the squad as sophomore Olivia Galati, senior Sara Michalowski and sophomore Tessa Ziemba were honored. The All-Tournament team was rounded out by Towson senior Sammi DiPompo and sophomore Katie Lingmai and Delaware sophomore Lara Andrews and freshman Michelle McKinnon.
Rookie Jessica Clifton went 2-3 and scored a run while junior Megan Kallatsa was 2-2 to lead the Panthers in the winning effort. Galati led the Pride (40-13) with a 2-3 performance at the plate with Ziemba going 1-3 to record the squad's third hit of the game.
Thomas evened her record to 9-9 on the season with the win, while junior Erin Wade is now 11-5 after earning the loss. Wade allowed six hits and two runs (two earned) while fanning five in six innings of work.
The Pride had plenty of chances early on. In the second inning, Ziemba unloaded for a leadoff double down the left field line before Galati's popup bounced right between three GSU players in shallow right to put two on for Hofstra. Senior Laura Valentino advanced Galati to second on a soft hit to third. Junior Krista Thorn reached on a fielder's choice on the next play, but Ziemba was ruled out on a close call at home. Senior Trisha Dreslinski was then walked to load the bases before sophomore Rachael Senatore grounded out to end the inning and the leave the Pride empty handed.
After a back-and-forth battle over the next several innings, the Panthers made their move in the bottom of the sixth. Following Kallatsa's single to lead off the frame, Clifton connected for a bloop single to shallow left to advance the pinch runner Chelsea Sparks and put a pair on for GSU. Sophomore Brenna Morrissey then reached on a fielder's choice, but Sparks was thrown out at third for the first out of the inning. Jones proved clutch for the second time on the day as she stepped in to smack an RBI double past a diving Thorn and up the left field line to drive home Clifton and put the Panthers up 1-0. Sophomore Paige Nowacki would deliver a single to shortstop on the next at-bat to bring home Morrissey and seal the win with a 2-0 GSU advantage.
2011 CAA Softball Championship All-Tournament Team
Lara Andrews, Delaware
Sammi DiPompo, Towson
Olivia Galati, Hofstra
Lauren Jones, Georgia State
McCall Langford, Georgia State
Katie Lingmai, Towson
Sara Michalowski, Hofstra
Michelle McKinnon, Delaware
Alana Thomas, Georgia State
Emily Whitaker, Georgia State
Tessa Ziemba, Hofstra
Most Outstanding Player: Alana Thomas, Georgia State