2023 CAA Softball Championship

Hofstra's Patience Pays Off With Extra-Inning Win Over UNCW At CAA Tourney

Hofstra's Patience Pays Off With Extra-Inning Win Over UNCW At CAA Tourney

Madison McKevitt hit the eventual game-winning grand slam in the top of the ninth inning to lift Hofstra over UNCW in the 2023 CAA Softball Championship.

May 12, 2023 by FloSoftball Staff
Hofstra's Patience Pays Off With Extra-Inning Win Over UNCW At CAA Tourney

Madison McKevitt sent a roar through the Pride faithful with the eventual game-winning grand slam in the top of the ninth inning, lifting third-seeded Hofstra over No. 2 UNCW, 9-5, in Game 7 of the 2023 CAA Softball Championship on Thursday. 

The Pride (26-24) continue in the winner’s bracket and will face fourth-seeded Towson at Bill Edwards Stadium on Friday at noon. 

UNCW (23-26) will turn around and immediately face elimination against seventh-seeded Stony Brook at 6:55 p.m. on Thursday.

Hofstra left 18 runners on base in the game against UNCW, stranding at least two in the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings, before breaking through in the ninth. 

With two outs and the bases loaded, the Pride were in danger of squandering yet another opportunity. However, McKevitt stepped to the plate and drove the first pitch high and deep over the right field wall to make sure Hofstra capitalized.  

McKevitt went 2-for-3 in the game with five RBIs, one run scored and drew a walk. 

Chelsea Manto went 3-for-6 with a run scored, while Meghan Giordano reached base safely five times, going 2-for-3 with three walks and two runs scored. Giordano has reached safely in 17 straight games.

The Pride opened with one run in the top of the first. Manto beat out an infield single, before Giordano reached on a walk to put runners on first and second with one out. 

A fielder’s choice placed runners on the corners with two outs, and Manto came home on a ball in the dirt during Aliya Catanzarita’s at-bat. 

UNCW answered back in its half of the first inning with a two-run homer from Jada Santiago. 

Janel Gamache started a two-out rally, beating out an infield hit to the first baseman. 

The next at-bat, Santiago took the 1-2 pitch on a line over the wall in left field to give the Seahawks a 2-1 lead.

The Seahawks added to the lead in the second inning, courtesy of an RBI single from Logan Bjorson, which gave UNCW a 3-1 advantage. 

Mary Sobataka reached on a leadoff single before taking third on a sacrifice bunt from Skylar Stockton. In the ensuing at-bat, Bjorson drove in Sobataka with a ground ball up the middle on an 0-1 count. 

Hofstra regained the lead with a four-run third inning. 

The first four batters reached for the Pride, as Giordano started the rally with a double. She scored on a single from Angelina Ioppolo. 

Catanzarita walked to put runners on first and second with no outs. The next at-bat, Becca Vaillancourt, reached on a fielder’s choice, and Ioppolo scored on an error. 

Catanzarita scored on a passed ball during the ensuing at-bat, before McKevitt recorded a two-out RBI single to give the Pride a 5-3 advantage. 

UNCW pulled even with two runs in its half of the third. 

Arial Pearce led off the inning with a double, before an error put runners on the corners with no outs. Gamache stole second, before a sacrifice fly from Santiago scored Pearce. Sobataka drove in Gamache on a two-out RBI single, tying the game at five through three innings. 

After 10 combined runs in the first three innings, the teams would go scoreless over the next five. 

Hofstra’s Nikki Mullen and Julia Apsel combined to limit UNCW to just one hit over the final six innings. 

The Seahawks' best chance came in the bottom of the seventh. 

Tayler Vitola beat out an infield single with one out, and Gamache was hit by a pitch with two outs to put runners on first and second. Mullen induced a ground ball during the ensuing at-bat to end the threat. 

Mullen (6-9) picked up the win, tossing 6 2/3 innings of relief, scattering three hits without allowing an earned run. 

Giordano drew a leadoff walk to start the Pride’s rally in the top of the ninth. Catanzarita singled with one out in the inning, before a sac bunt moved the runners to second and third. Alanna Morse drew the 13th walk of the game for Hofstra to load the bases and set up McKevitt.

The 13 walks for Hofstra set a CAA Championship record for a single game, breaking its own mark from 2002. 

Catanzarita reached safely five times, going 1-for-2 with four walks and two runs scored. The four walks established a new single-game tournament record, which surpassed the previous mark of three, achieved by 17 players.