Two great teams, finals rescheduled, six long days, and the 2017 District Tournament had to finally come to an end Friday afternoon. If you ask the Saints about the experience, they wouldn't change a thing.
Mercyhurst beat Lackawanna 7-4 Friday afternoon in game three of the three game series and will now advance to the NJCAA D2 National Tournament.
The Falcons defeated the Saints on Saturday before rains came to force the second game to be postponed until Monday. However, finals at Lackawanna forced a late start and thus, only time for one game. The Saints, who trailed in that game 4-2 and down to their last strike, and again in extra innings, went on to win that game in thrilling comeback fashion.
The win forced game three, which was scheduled for a neutral site, to be pushed to Friday afternoon, after most finals were over. But with rain forecasted at the neutral sites, the Saints made the decision to go all the way back to Lackawanna to play, because the forecast was better.
After a scoreless first inning, the Saints scored after back to back hits by Lei Guthrie and Hannah Larking opened the inning. Grace Edwards hit a ground ball to the right side to score the first runner. Kaylee Brooks then smacked a two run homer to make it 3-0.
Lackawanna responded with a two run homer to right in the bottom half, and then Ashlyn Slusher hit a solo home run to make it 4-2. The Falcons would not quit, as they closed the gap to 4-3 on a two out homer to center in the third.
In the fifth, the Saints took control as Mackenzie Hawley doubled to start the inning. Kaelyn Shea's sac bunt moved her to third and Ashlyn Slusher hit a hard ground ball to second. On that play Hawley broke for home but instantly returned on a throw, giving the Saints 1st and 3rd with one out.
Guthrie then launched a deep bomb to left field, clearing the bases and making it 7-3. Guthrie's ball left no doubt, traveling an estimated 250 feet to left.
Lackawanna threatened with base runners in the fifth, sixth, and seventh but the Saints stingy defense made several spectacular plays behind starter Guthrie to close the game out.
Guthrie went the distance, and while she did allow eight hits, she was tough in clutch situations to get out of jams. The defense behind her, didn't allow an error.
Mercyhurst improves to 42-8 on the season and will travel to Clinton, Mississippi early in the week for the National Tournament, which begins Wednesday.