Mercyhurst North East had their backs against the wall in more ways than one Monday afternoon, but came out swinging to keep their season alive.
Game 2 of the District Tournament was played at 2pm on Monday at Lackawanna. The Falcons beat MNE Saturday to put the Saints on the brink of elimination. After rain forced game two to be delayed on Saturday, more rain in the area forced the game to be pushed to Monday. Originally scheduled to start at noon, with the if game to be played at 2pm, the start time was pushed to 2pm to accommodate Lackawanna players who had finals in the morning.
This meant if the Saints were to force another game, there wouldn't be time to play it Monday afternoon, to allow MNE to travel home on Monday night.
In Mondays game, Lackawanna struck first in the third inning when Ash Rzesweki turned on pitch and drilled a long home run to left.
In the fourth, a costly error led to three unearned runs for the Falcons. After a single and walk to start the inning, a fly ball gave the Saints one out. A ground ball to third was missed, allowing the bases to be loaded. A soft grounder resulted in the second out, but allowed a run to score. Paige Durkin then lined a single up the middle, making it 4-1 Falcons.
Heather Mueller homered in the fifth to close the gap to 4-2. The score remained that way until the bottom of the seventh.
Kaylee Brooks singled on a tough play for the shortstop in the hole. Two fly balls put the Saints down to their final out of the season. Shea then singled to make it first and third and Ashlyn Slusher roped a two run triple to tie the game at 4-4 and send the game into extra innings.
After a scoreless eighth, Lackwanna scored on a two out error to take control before the decisive bottom of the ninth.
Mueller led off with a walk, Hawley lined out to third, and Shea reached on a fielders choice but Mueller was out at second, once again, putting Slusher up and the Saints down to their final out. Slusher singled to make it first and second and Lei Guthrie reached on an infield single. But on the play, the throw to first got away and Shea raced home to tie the game.
Hannah Larking then came to the plate and with two strikes, turned on a pitch, sending it high and deep to right, clearing the fence for a walk off three run home run for the Saints.
Ashlyn Slusher started the game for the Saints, allowing just five hits in 4.2 innings before getting into trouble. Lea Theisen then entered and got the Saints out of the game with a ground ball. Theisen then pitched a scoreless fifth to keep the Saints in the game before being lifted for a pinch hitter. Guthrie then entered the game and didn't allow an earned run in her four innings of work
The final game of the series will be played Friday at 4pm, on the campus of Finger Lakes Community College. The winner will advance to the NJCAA World Series next week in Mississippi.