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Moravian Rallies From Five-run Deficit, Knocks Off Top Seed Chapman in Nine

Salem, Va. - Lauren Homa’s ninth-inning single completed a five-run comeback as eighth-seeded Moravian knocked off top-seed Chapman in the opening game of the 2004 NCAA Division III National Championships. 

Homa sent the game to extra innings after she launched a two-out, two-run home run to left field that completed a five-run comeback and sent the game into extra frames. 

After Stephanie Eddinger walked, she advanced to second on a sacrifice by Danielle Carrione. Then Homa stepped up and singled up the middle to plate Eddinger with what proved to be the go-ahead run. 

After a rough start to begin the game, Moravian’s first-team all-American Meagan Hennessy (20-2) settled down and picked up the win. She went the full nine innings, allowing 14 hits and six runs. Maggie Wilder (12-4), in relief of starter Marissa Becerra, suffered the loss as she gave up three runs, none earned, and three hits in two and two-thirds innings of work. 

Chapman jumped out to an early 5-0 lead off Hennessy. The Panthers jumped ahead on run-scoring hits by Brittany Ziegler and Jill Jeranko, but the big damage was done by Sandra Burns who stepped up with the bases loaded and delivered a bases-clearing double down the left field line that completed the run-scoring opening frame. 

Moravian got on the board in the fourth as Richelle McWilliams led off with a double and later scored on a two-out single by Jessica Esposito. 

The Panthers extended the lead back to five in the bottom of the sixth as Melissa Simerlink laid down a bunt that scored Ziegler who led off the frame with a double. 

The Greyhounds weren’t done, however, as they started the five-run seventh as Heather Bortz reached on a fielding error. Jenn Hastings pinch-hit and delivered a single to advance Bortz to second. Janelle Brey then beat out a single to first and load the bases. Melissa Soroka scored Bortz on a fielder’s choice, and Holmes then cut the lead to two on a wild pitch by Becerra. After a walk to McWilliams, Homa stepped up and tied the game with her home run. 

After the Greyhounds raced to the lead in the ninth, Chapman had a chance to force additional extra frames but were unable to do so as Hennessy got Ashlie Vohs to pop out for the final out with the tying run at third. 

Moravian advances to play the winner of fourth-seed Salisbury and fifth-seeded Alma Saturday at 4 p.m., while Chapman faces the loser of the two teams tomorrow at 11 a.m.