CLEARWATER, Fla. – Hofstra University, which hadn’t even stepped on the dirt before heading to Florida, won four of five games at the Eddie C. Moore Complex to capture the title at the 2014 NFCA Division I Leadoff Classic.
The (4-1) Pride used an edge in run differential to break a three-way tie atop the tournament team standings with DePaul (11-4) and the University of South Florida (8-5), who also compiled 4-1 records at the three-day event. The Pride’s 8-0 victory over the University of Massachusetts in six innings on Sunday aided their decisive margin.
To view final results and statistics, please click this LINK.
Both the Blue Demons and Bulls entered the final day undefeated in tournament play at 4-0 and 3-0, respectively. Hofstra dealt South Florida its lone loss (7-1) earlier on Sunday, while James Madison rallied to defeat DePaul, 3-1. Hofstra’s only defeat at the tournament was a 7-4 loss on Saturday to Louisiana Lafayette, the No. 20-ranked team in the most recent USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll.
“We came out and got hot at the right time,” Hofstra coach Bill Edwards said. “Beating the teams we beat — some real quality teams — we’re very excited and pleased to win.”
The Pride had been besieged by snow and cold at their Hempstead, N.Y., campus, and had been unable to practice fly balls having been forced to practice only indoors.
Hofstra junior pitcher Morgan Lashley earned NFCA Division I Leadoff Classic Most Valuable Pitcher honors after going 3-0 with three complete games, a 3.15 earned-run average and 15 strikeouts in 20 innings.
Meanwhile, Rutgers junior outfielder Jackie Bates was the NFCA Division I Leadoff Classic Most Valuable Player after hitting .438, with an .813 slugging percentage, three doubles, a homer and a tournament-best nine runs batted in.
NFCA Division I Leadoff Classic All-Tournament Team
Most Valuable Player: Jackie Bates, Rutgers
Most Valuable Pitcher: Morgan Lashley, Hofstra
Valerie Sadowl, Connecticut
Haley Hayden, Louisiana
Maggie Hawkins, Hofstra
Nicole Pihl, DePaul
Ta’coia Williams, USF
Rachael Senatore, Hofstra
Becca Bigler, Hofstra
Morgan Maize, DePaul
Mary Connolly, DePaul
Sara Nevins, USF
Hannah Penna, DePaul
Jailyn Ford, James Madison