PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The University of Saint Joseph finished second in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference regular-season after sweeping Johnson & Wales in a conference doubleheader Saturday to conclude the regular season.
USJ won 2-0 and 6-2. The Blue Jays are 26-10 and finished 16-6 in the GNAC; Johnson & Wales is 27-10 and finished third in the GNAC at 15-7. Suffolk went 18-4 to win the regular-season GNAC title and will be the No. 1 seed in the upcoming GNAC Tournament.
Second-seeded USJ will host a GNAC Tournament doubleheader Friday at a time to be announced. Johnson & Wales will play the first game Friday against the winner of Tuesday's play-in game between #6 St. Joseph's of Maine and #7 Albertus Magnus. The winner of that game will play USJ. The rest of the double-elimination tournament will then shift to top-seeded Suffolk.
Patti Sciglimpaglia (Norwalk, Conn.) pitched two complete game wins for USJ. She threw a four-hit shutout in the opener, struck out 11 and walked three. It was her single-season school record sixth shutout of the season and she extended her career record to 10 shutouts. She allowed one earned run in the second game, walked two and struck out eight. She improved her record on the season to 17-3 and ended the day with a 0.73 ERA.
The second game was also her 51st career pitching win, which tied the career school record set by Mary Ann Parsons from 1999-2001. Her 19 strikeouts on the day gave her 162 on the season, also a single-season record as she passed Kristina Torres who struck out 156 batters in 2012. Already USJ's all-time hit leader, she got her 200th career base hit with a third-inning double in the second game.
The Blue Jays scored a run in the first inning of the first game when Patti Sciglimpaglia, Mary Sciglimpaglia (Norwalk, Conn.) and Rachel Dube (Southington, Conn.) strung together two-out single, with Dube driving in Patti from second. USJ scored its other run in the fifth. Morgan Skoly had a bunt single, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Sarah Ercoli (Plainville, Conn.), to third on a flyout from Patti Sciglimpaglia and scored on an RBI-single from Mary Sciglimpaglia.
USJ scored in the first inning of the late game as well. Skoly, Ercoli an Patti Sciglimpaglia singled to load the bases and Dube had a one-out, two-run single as USJ took a quick 2-0 lead. The lead grew to 5-0 in the third. Isabella Russo (Southington, Conn.) had an RBI-single, a play which saw a second run score on an error and Russo eventually scored on another error, later in the inning.
After Johnson & Wales pulled within 5-2, Ashley Tucker (Middletown, Conn.) homered in the top of the seventh for the Blue Jays to provide the final run.