Worcester, Mass. – The Framingham State University captured their second straight Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) softball tournament title on Sunday as tournament MVP Kelsi Gunarathne (North Providence, R.I.) pitched a complete-game shutout with a career-high 13 strikeouts to help the second seeded Rams prevail 1-0 over the third seeded Westfield State Owls.
With the win, the Rams improve to 25-15 on the year and receive the MASCAC's automatic bid to the 2018 NCAA Division III Softball Tournament with pairings and seedings announced tomorrow afternoon.
With the loss, the Owls see their season come to a close at 17-20.
Gunarathne earned her third victory of the tournament going seven innings and allowing just four hits to go along with her 13 strikeouts.
Framingham State came close to scoring a run in the bottom of the second inning when they saw back-to-back singles from Grace Caughey (Mendon, Mass.) and Kayla Finnachiaro (Natick, Mass.) and loaded the bases with a Westfield State fielding error. However, Westfield's starting pitcher Emily Arredondo (Woburn, Mass.) retired the side with a foul out and a groundout to leave three Rams stranded.
The Owls saw a chance to score in the top of the fifth inning when Angelica Banning (East Granby, Conn.) began the inning with a double to centerfield. She stole third with two outs on the board, but Gunarathne struck out the next batter to end the inning.
Gunarathne retired the Owls in order in the top of the seventh to give Framingham the chance at the win in the bottom half of the inning. With one out on the board, Camille Desrochers (Westford, Mass.) singled up the middle to reach base. Dayna Marchant (East Bridgewater, Mass.) followed with the an RBI double to left center plating Desrochers with the game winning run.