The Elizabethtown College women’s softball team entered their final Landmark series with Susquehanna University, knowing that they would be playing in the playoffs. The only unknowns were what seed the Blue Jays would finish in and who their playoff opponent would be. After Saturday’s doubleheader in Selinsgrove, Etown found out that they would return to face the Crusaders the following Wednesday.
Top-seed Susquehanna took both games of the doubleheader, 5-1 and 1-0, to finish 11-1 in Landmark play this season. The Blue Jays dropped to 6-6 in the Landmark Conference and fell into a third place tie with Catholic University. Catholic earned a sweep of Juniata College on Saturday to earn a playoff bid and the third seed via a tiebreaker over the Blue Jays.
In game one of the doubleheader, the Crusaders threw one of the conference’s top pitchers in Morgan Lewis. The Blue Jays were held hitless through the first four innings of the game against Lewis. In the fifth inning, senior Kaylee Werner led off with a double down the right field line and scored when the next batter, senior Jordan Nowacki, singled to left center.
The Crusaders scored three runs in the second inning off of Blue Jays’ starter, senior Laura Tomasetti. Susquehanna tacked on two more runs in the sixth inning to earn the 5-1 victory. Overall, Tomasetti pitched six innings and struck out one batter, allowing five runs on 11 hits.
In game two, Susquehanna and Etown battled in a pitcher’s duel, with the Crusaders scratching out the only run of the game. Blue Jays’ starting pitcher, junior Keli Krause, was dealing on Saturday afternoon. Krause took a no-hitter into the fourth inning, retiring the side in order in two of the first three innings. Krause struck out the side in the third inning, finishing with five strikeouts on the day.
The Blue Jays had four hits before the Crusaders were able to get their first hit, but Etown could not produce any runs to back up Krause’s performance. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Susquehanna broke the scoreless tie when pinch hitter Anna Heggenstaller doubled to drive in her teammate.
Etown threatened in the top of the seventh inning with one baserunner, but Susquehanna pitcher Jamie Fesinstine induced a double-play to end the game and help the Crusaders earn the overall number one seed.
The Blue Jays finished the regular season on Tuesday afternoon with a non-conference doubleheader at Gettysburg College.
Etown dropped both games of their doubleheader with the Bullets, 6-3, 6-3.
Senior Jess White and sophomore Kelsey Brown both homered in game one, and White added two more RBIs in game two for the Blue Jays.
Etown finished the regular season on a nine-game losing streak and with a 13-23 record overall. The Blue Jays finished 6-6 in the Landmark Conference.
Tomorrow the Blue Jays face the Susquehanna Crusaders for the third time in one week in the first round of the Landmark Conference Playoffs. First pitch is set for 11 a.m.