Brookville, N.Y.-The top-seeded LIU Post Pioneers scored four runs with two out in the bottom of fifth inning capped off by a tie-breaking, two-run home run from Abbey Fortin and held on for a 4-3 win over the fourth-seeded and visiting University of Bridgeport Purple Knights to open the 2018 East Coast Conference Softball Championship Tournament on Wednesday afternoon on Long Island. With the loss, UB (25-24) will now face the third-seeded Molloy College Lions at 12:30 p.m. on Friday in a game that will be played at LIU Post. The Pioneers (33-16) will face the second-seeded Mercy College Mavericks at 10:00 a.m. in a winners' bracket game on Long Island.
Bridgeport jumped out to a 2-0 in the top of third inning when junior Kamryn Beach (Tampa, Fla.) and senior Yalitza Rodriguez (Freeport, N.Y.) had RBI singles, but LIUP would rally back with those four, fifth inning runs to take a 4-2 advantage which they did not relinquish.
The Purple Knights would not go down without a fight though, as Rodriguez would pick up her second run batted of the afternoon with another RBI single in the top of the sixth that plated freshman Kaira Ramon (Stamford, Conn.), who also had two hits on the day.
UB outhit LIU Post, 8-7, in the game, and the visitors unfortunately left the bases loaded after scoring once in the sixth and had runners on first and second in the seventh as the game ended.
Senior Amanda Staheli (Pecatonica, Ill.) took the loss in the pitching circle for Bridgeport on Wednesday, as she fired a complete game in which she allowed seven hits with three strikeouts and issued one walk. Staheli is now 13-8 on the season. Katie Humhej picked up win number 16 of the season working a complete game for the Pioneers.