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Courtesy: Marist Athletics

Red Foxes & Sooners Set For First Round NCAA Matchup, On ESPN3, 8:30 ET/7:30 CT

Courtesy: Marist Athletics
         
Release: May 17, 2013
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NORMAN, Okla. - The Marist softball team (30-24 overall) will face off with the top-seeded Oklahoma Sooners in its first round game on Friday, May 17 at 8:30 ET in a contest which will air on ESPN3.

Jeanne Zelasko (pxp) and Tracy Warren (analyst) will have the call on air, while Marist Athletics will host a live chat to have fans interact and root the Red Foxes on. Click here for the link to the ESPN3 broadcast and here for the Live Chat.

Scouting the Sooners : Oklahoma is currently ranked #1 in the nation and is coming off of a 47-4 regular season and 15-2 showing in the Big 12. The Sooners are led by senior pitcher Keilani Ricketts, the reigning USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, who went 27-1 in the circle in the regular season. Michelle Gascoigne bookends the nation’s best pitching duo with a 17-3 record and a sub-1.00 ERA.

Offensively, the Sooners are led by first baseman Lauren Chamberlain, who hit .442 with 25 home runs in the regular season. As a team, the Sooners hit .332, with eight regular starters hitting over .300.

Scouting the Red Foxes:  Marist is coming off an exciting week of MAAC Tournament play in Poughkeepsie where they earned three straight wins to clinch to 2013 conference title. On consecutive days beginning on Thursday, May 9, the Red Foxes defeated Fairfield 3-1, Niagara 2-0 and Fairfield 4-1.

Marist is led into the NCAA Tournament by a quartet of All-MAAC postseason award winners, including the MAAC Tournament Most Outstanding Player Emily Osterhaus (Suwanee, Ga.), who dominated her competition at the championship with a 3-0 record, 0.67 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 21 innings pitched.

The First Team All-MAAC duo of Nicole Cheek (Simi Valley, Calif.) and Danielle Koltz (Chenango Bridge, N.Y.), as well as Second Teamer Alyssa Zahka (Lexington, Mass.) have been productive staples in the heart of Marist’s batting order throughout the year and have put together dominant 2013 stat-lines.

As a team, Marist is batting .286 with five hitters registering averages of .321 or better. Strong in the pitching arena, as well, the Red Foxes have a team ERA of 2.92 with 10 shutouts in 54 games.

Marist’s Tournament History

After going 3-0 in the 2006 MAAC Championships the Red Foxes qualified for their first-ever NCAA Tournament and were selected to the second-seeded University of Arizona’s Tucson Regional.

May 18, 2006 vs. #2 Arizona, L, 9-0 (F/6):

In its first-ever NCAA Tournament game the Marist softball team fell to second overall seed Arizona by a final score of 9-0 in six innings. Chrystine McHugh (Port Ewen, N.Y.) picked up Marist’s first ever tournament hit in the fourth inning.

Marist would get its only good scoring opportunity in the fourth inning, when it got a runner to third base with one out. McHugh led off the fourth with a double to left center field, and was moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Melissa Giordano (Stamford, Conn.). However, Arizona starter Alicia Hollowell (24-4) got the next two hitters to strike out to thwart the Marist threat.

Arizona would continue to pad its lead, as it took a 4-0 lead in the fifth inning on a solo home run to left center field by Mesa. Arizona opened up a commanding 6-0 lead on a two run single by Kristie Fox in the bottom of the sixth. The game ended in the sixth when Balko hit a three run home run to left center to give Arizona the 9-0 victory.

Marist would manage just two base hits in the contest. Rigos would pitch the complete game and fall to 22-6 on the season. She struck out three in 5.1 innings of work.

May 19, 2006 vs. Auburn, L, 14-0 (F/5):

The Marist Softball team was eliminated from the NCAA Tournament with a 14-0 loss to Auburn. With the setback the Foxes ended the season with a 33-13 record and competed in the school’s first ever NCAA Tournament.

Marist could not get anything going against Auburn starter Holly Currie. Currie faced the minimum in the five inning contest and did not allow a base hit. Marist had one base runner as Chrystine McHugh (Port Ewen, N.Y.) reached on a wild pitch following a strike out. She was later erased on a double play.

Of Note: Current Marist assistant coach Melissa Giordano is the first and only Red Fox in program history to be a part of both NCAA Tournament appearances.

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