Munafo, Flagler Upends Pirates, 1-0, In NCAA Southeast Regional
SAVANNAH, Ga. - The seventh-seeded Flagler softball squad rode the arm of senior righthander Donna Munafo to a 1-0 eight-inning victory over host and second-seeded Armstrong on the first day of the 2012 NCAA DII Southeast Regional on Friday afternoon in Savannah.
The Saints (35-17) now face third-seeded Lenoir-Rhyne - a 2-0 winner over Catawba in the day's other contest - in an 11:00 a.m. matchup on Saturday morning. Armstrong (44-10) meets Catawba in a 1:30 p.m. elimination game on Saturday and must win twice tomorrow to get to Sunday's region championship.
A leadoff infield single by the Pirates' Shelby Duff in the bottom of the first inning gave Armstrong a scoring chance right off the bat, but after that Munafo (17-5) set down 22 in a row, keeping the Pirates off the scoreboard and off the bases into extra innings.
Flagler left eight runners on base in the regulation seven innings as Armstrong starter Megan Barnwell (21-4) pitched in and out of jams, including a bases-loaded one-out jam in the fifth inning, but the Saints strung together three hits in the top of the eighth inning to push across the game's only run.
Robyn Draper singled to lead off the top of the eighth, and after a sacrifice, moved to third on Alona Personius' single to center field. Personius stole second, putting runners at second and third with two outs, when Whitney Craven hit a ground ball deep in the hole at short. Baillie Temples fielded the ball and made the throw to first from her knees, but Whitney Galloway was off the bag at first, allowing Draper to score with the go-ahead run.
Munafo got the first out in the bottom of the eighth when Brittany Cooley ended her string of 22 straight outs with a single to center field. Pinch runner Bethany Wilke stole second base, but Munafo struck out Celia Blome and got Ashley Buckett on a foul out to left field to complete the victory.
Munafo struck out two and gave up just the two hits in the eight-inning shutout win, while Barnwell gave up seven hits and one run in eight innings of work, walking four while striking out three to take the extra-inning loss.