PHILADELPHIA – The St. Bonaventure softball team came one out away from an Atlantic 10 series sweep at La Salle, but the Explorers salvaged the series with a walk-off home run Sunday afternoon.
Bona (5-17, 2-3 Atlantic 10) had rallied from a 4-2 deficit after the third inning and led, 5-4, heading for the last of the seventh.
Freshman Tierney Fitzgerald recorded what could have been the needed final three outs by coaxing three ground balls, but an error opened the door for the Explorers (6-18, 1-5 A-10).
With one on and two down, Emily Conaway would be the hero as she delivered a walk-off, two-run homer down the right field line to send the Bonnies home in heartbreaking fashion.
The Explorers answered with two runs of their own before the end of the first inning.
La Salle added two more runs to the board when a sac fly allowed Conaway to score and, immediately after, Courtney Shupp singled down the left field line to bring in Ashley Mendenhall.
The Bonnies, however, quickly battled back.
To lead off the top of the fourth, Grace Perechinsky homered to left to bring the Bonnies within one.
Senior leadership pushed the Bonnies ahead in the top of the seventh when Alexandra Deal got into scoring position by belting a double. Alexandra Piergustavo was then able to push the visitors ahead with a go-ahead single for a 5-4 score to set the stage for the last half inning.
Alyssa Yungwirth received the start for the Brown and White and worked into the third (2.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K). Fitzgerald was strong in relief for the Bonnies (4.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K), striking out three and not allowing an earned run.
St. Bonaventure will play their first home games of the 2019 season Wednesday against Robert Morris in a non-conference doubleheader. First pitch at Joyce Field is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.
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