The Seton Hall softball team went toe-to-toe with Big East regular season champion and top overall seed St. John’s on Saturday. The Red Storm’s offense pulled away from a 5-5 tie in the fourth inning to go on to beat the Pirates 7-5 in the final of the Big East Championship in Rosemont, Illinois.
Freshman Sara Foster led the Pirates with two hits, two runs and an RBI on the day. Junior Alex Rabbetts was 2 for 4 with a run scored. Junior Yasmin Harrell, senior Whitney Jones and junior Jackie DiPietro also drove in runs for Seton Hall, which ended the season 25-28 and earned the program’s first conference championship appearance since 2005. Foster, senior Casey Moses and senior Danielle DeStaso each earned All-Tournament team honors.
After Seton Hall spotted the Red Storm a run in the first inning, the Pirates responded with a big four-run second inning. DeStaso, Rabbetts and junior Faith Laudano reached base consecutively to load the bags with no outs. DiPietro’s groundout to second brought home the first run for the Hall. Foster then struck with an RBI single through the left side, an opposite-field hit that gave the Pirates a 2-1 edge.
That brought the top of the order to the plate, and Harrell came through with a run-scoring single to right field, which brought home Laudano. Jones capped the four-run frame with a sacrifice fly to center that scored Foster, making it 4-1 in favor of the Pirates.
However, the lead would be brief as St. John’s offense immediately answered with three runs. The Red Storm loaded the bases with nobody out and hit back-to-back RBI singles.
The Pirates again loaded the bases with less than two outs in the fourth inning, but this time only mustered one run. With two outs, DeStaso hit a high chopper that Anderson could not field cleanly, allowing Foster to score unearned and giving Seton Hall the 5-4 lead.
But once again the Pirates were not able to hold the lead for long. The Red Storm opened their half of the fourth with three straight singles, tying the game with a base-hit up the middle. A fielder’s choice later in the inning scored another run, putting Seton Hall behind 6-5.
From that point on, Francesca Carrullo of St. John’s settled down to retire six of the next seven Pirate hitters, and St. John’s tacked on an insurance run in the fifth inning on a bases-loaded walk.
Seton Hall made a comeback attempt in the seventh when Laudano and DiPietro hit back-to-back two-out singles to put runners on first and third. However, Carrullo caught Foster looking to end the game and seal the championship for St. John’s.
Despite the defeat, third-year head coach Paige Smith was able to take her team to its first Big East Championship in her time at the Hall as well as the squad’s first conference final appearance since 2005.
Charles Mule can be reached at Charles.email@example.com/