Five-Run Fifth-Inning Leads Mustangs to First-Ever Postseason Victory

WESTMINSTER, Md. - Stevenson softball freshman Courtney Cook (Edgewood, Md./Harford Tech) hit her first career home run to highlight a five-run fifth-inning as the sixth-seeded Mustangs posted a 5-2 victory over third-seeded McDaniel Wednesday in the first round of the 2013 ECAC Division III South Championship.

The win marked the first postseason victory in two appearances for the Mustangs (23-21) who tied the school record for wins with 23. The 2010 team also won 23 games, finishing the season with a 23-16 record.

After 62 minutes of delays due to inclement weather and four scoreless innings, Stevenson registered its first hit on a single from sophomore Abbey DeFeo (Columbia, Md./River Hill) in the top of the fifth followed by a two-run home run from Cook that gave the Mustangs a 2-0 lead.

Junior Lindsay Kuczak (Bel Air, Md./C. Milton Wright) added an RBI-double and junior Kristen Fassler (Owings Mills, Md./Western Tech) had an RBI-single to push the Stevenson advantage to 5-0.

The Green Terror (23-18) added two runs of their own in the bottom of the fifth on a two-run triple by Tracy Davis, but that would be all they would get as the pitching duo of freshman Molly Hoyt (Parisppany, N.J./Parisppany Hills) and sophomore Briana Pichalski (Port Reading, N.J./Woodbridge) limited McDaniel to just two runs on four hits.

Hoyt earned her team-leading eighth win of the season in the circle, scattering four hits and striking out four over 5.0 innings while Pichalski earned her second save of the season, not allowing a hit over the final two.

Meanwhile, 20-game winner Caroline Brehm suffered the loss after allowing nine hits and five runs, only two of which were earned, while striking out 11. Brehm, who is 44-21 in two seasons with the Green Terror, suffered her second loss in as many starts against the Mustangs.

Kuczak finished the game 2-for-4 with one RBI while Fassler was 2-for-3 with one RBI. Freshman Tiffany Kahl (Glen Burnie, Md./Seton Keough) went 2-for-3 with one run.

Stevenson will face the winner of Thursday's first round contest between seventh-seeded Catholic and second-seeded Frostburg State. The double elimination semifinals and championship rounds will take place this Saturday and Sunday at the highest remaining seed.