FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Konkel Named MVP as Panthers Repeat
GARDEN CITY, N.Y. - For the second straight season, and third time in the last six, Adelphi raised the league's tournament trophy on Saturday afternoon, as they defeated Pace, 3-0 on Janet L. Ficke Field.
The Panthers (30-19-1), who were ranked third in the East Region in the final edition of the NCAA Division II regional rankings, earn the league's automatic qualifier spot in the NCAA Tournament field by virtue of winning the title.
Rookie Nicole Mengel earned the win for the Panthers in the circle, as she hurled seven shutout innings, allowing just four hits en route to selection to the All-Championship Team. Jessica Vadala, the other winning pitcher for Adelphi for the weekend, and Kailah Konkel joined her there as Adelphi's heroes from Friday's extra-inning semifinal victory over SNHU.
Konkel, who homered and also drove in the game-winning run in the semifinals for a career-best three RBIs in Adelphi's 5-4 win, was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player.
The Panthers, playing as the designated road team after a pregame coin toss, got on the board in the top of the first inning thanks to an RBI single from Emily Turney - making Pace starter Emma Bernet pay for a pair of early walks. Christina Rizzi added two more in the top of the third, as Adelphi again cashed in after Bernet walked two ahead of a single to Nicole Camera which loaded the bases with no one out.
With Bernet nearly out of a jam after she retired the next two hitters, Rizzi blooped a 2-0 pitch over third base and into the outfield grass to score two and give the Brown and Gold a 3-0 lead. That was all the run support Mengel needed in the contest, as the best scoring chance for Pace came when the Setters loaded the bases in the bottom of the second after two outs.
The rookie right-hander settled into a groove in the middle innings, as she faced two over the minimum from the third through sixth frames, and worked around a single and a walk in the bottom of the seventh - thanks in part to some sparkling defense from Konkel at shortstop, as she snagged a line drive on a diving play and made a second play on a groundout deep in the hole - to secure the third league crown in team history.
The Panthers will learn the opponent for and the location of their seventh straight regional appearance on Monday morning, as the NCAA Division II Softball Championship field will be announced live on ncaa.com at 10 a.m.
2018 NE10 All-Championship Team
Kailah Konkel, Adelphi
Nicole Mengel, Adelphi
Jessica Vadala, Adelphi
Emma Bernet, Pace
Ashley Lew, Pace
Courtney Fisher, Saint Anselm (not pictured)
Maddy Barone, SNHU (not pictured)
2018 NE10 Championship Most Valuable Player - Kailah Konkel, Adelphi
2018 NE10 Softball Championship Schedule
Tuesday, May 1st
Game 1: #3 NE Merrimack 2, #4 NE Assumption 0
Game 2: #4 SW New Haven 5, #3 SW Le Moyne 2
Thursday, May 3rd, Friday, May 4th and Saturday, May 5th
Championship Weekend (to be hosted by Adelphi, #1 seed, Southwest Division)
Thursday, May 3rd
Game 3: #2 SW Pace 3, #3 NE Merrimack 1
Game 4: #2 NE Southern New Hampshire 6, #4 SW New Haven 2
Friday, May 4th
Game 5: #1 SW Adelphi 5, #2 NE Southern New Hampshire 4, Final - 8 Inn.
Game 6: #2 SW Pace 2, #1 NE Saint Anselm 0
Saturday, May 5th
Game 7: #1 SW Adelphi 3, #2 SW Pace 0 | 12:00 PM
- Information for this release provided by the athletic communications staff at Adelphi
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Each year, 4,500 student-athletes compete in conference championships, making the NE10 the largest DII conference in the country in terms of sport sponsorship. Leading the way in the classroom, on the field and within the community, the NE10 is proud of its comprehensive program and the experience it provides student-athletes.