The Shippensburg University softball team had its 2022 season end on Saturday morning as the No. 6 seed Raiders dropped a 5-2 decision to No. 7 seed Claflin in an NCAA Atlantic Region II game at Robb Field.
How it happened
Shippensburg (32-20) entered the day needing to win one to reach the championship game of the bracket and play against Seton Hill. However, it was Claflin (23-15) who broke through and advanced to face against Seton Hill (The Griffins defeated the Panthers in the regional championship, 11-0).
The Raiders opened up the scoring in the top of the first inning with a bases-loaded walk by freshman Katelyn Minney (Lititz, Pa./Warwick) and an RBI-single by sophomore Maelynn Leber (Wrightsville, Pa./Eastern York) to take a 2-0 lead. The Lady Panthers quickly reduced the deficit to one run after a solo home run from leadoff batter Brenay Howard.
Claflin tied the game in the bottom of the third on an RBI-single up the middle and took the lead in the fifth inning with two more runs. The Lady Panthers closed the game out with another solo home run by Howard in the sixth to take a 5-2 lead and eventually the game by that score. The Raiders were unable to capitalize on late rallies.
Shippensburg had two hits from senior Morgan DeFeo (West Grove, Pa./Avon Grove) and Leber. Sophomore Emma Flattery (Macomb, Mich./Dakota) started in the circle for the Raiders and threw 1.1 innings and struck out two. All three relief pitchers that came in had at least one strikeout, with redshirt-sophomore Maddie Uschock (Irwin, Pa./Hempfield Area (Dominican (N.Y.)) striking out four and throwing 3.0 innings.
The Raiders ended the 2022 Atlantic Regional Tournament by scoring in the first inning of all three of their games and holding leads in each game.
Concluding the Regular Season
Shippensburg concludes its regular season with a trip to the NCAA Atlantic Regional Tournament, which it has not reached since 2014. Also, SU reached the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Tournament this year for the first time since 2019.
The Raiders set some milestone records this season, including junior Hannah Marsteller (Fredericksburg, Va./Riverbend) setting history at Shippensburg with a new school record for career RBIs and career home runs, and setting the longest PSAC hitting streak. Marsteller is the first Raider to repeat as the PSAC East Athlete of the Year. DeFeo tied two NCAA single-game records this season. Per the NCAA record books it is the 11th time that a player has had six hits in a single game, and the 12th time that a player has had six runs in a game. Minney became the first Raider since 2019 to be named PSAC East Freshman of the Year.