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Chelsea Hawks, Mikaela Tribby spur Molloy women to NCAA Division II Softball World Series

Molloy pitcher Chelsea Hawks.

Molloy pitcher Chelsea Hawks. Credit: Molloy Athletics/Cody Snapp

A gem from Chelsea Hawks and clutch hitting from Mikaela Tribby set up Makayla Harris’ “moment,” and the junior came through with the biggest hit of her college career.

Harris hit a walk-off single with the bases loaded in the eighth inning to give Molloy a 3-2 win over Adelphi Friday afternoon at Ficke Field and send the Lions softball team to the Division II College World Series. Molloy (37-16) swept the best-of-three Super Regional series to earn its first berth in the World Series since 2013.

Hawks struck out eight and scattered six hits in eight innings to earn her 20th victory of the season, while Tribby’s RBI base hit tied the game at 2 in the sixth inning.

“I have never felt anything like this before. It’s an amazing feeling,” Harris said.

“It was her time,” coach Susan Cassidy-Lyke said. “Everyone has their moment and that was her moment.”

Adelphi starter Lindsay Mapes (three strikeouts, seven hits) had gotten the better of Harris in her previous two at-bats. “She was jamming me inside, so I stepped off the plate a little bit and kept my hands in,” said Harris, whose line drive to right field scored Milan Botte (who was intentionally walked for the fourth time to lead off the inning).

Harris’ moment was made possible thanks to Hawks keeping the Lions in the game, and the senior even managed to improve on her strong start in Molloy’s 4-3 win in Game 1.

“My curveball was working better than it was (Thursday), so that was good to mix in,” said Hawks.

Molloy struck first when Sarah Rambo tripled to score Botte in the first inning, but Adelphi (38-15-1) spotted Mapes a lead two innings later. Stephanie Staiano’s RBI double tied the game at 1 in the second, before Brenna Martini’s run-scoring triple made it 2-1.

Mapes shut down the Lions in the middle frames before they loaded the bases in the sixth inning for Tribby, who lined a single up the middle to even the score.

Hawks was cruising herself and did not allow a runner past first after the third inning until there were two outs in the eighth. Nicoletta Cuccio represented the go-ahead run at second base, but Hawks induced a weak popup to shortstop to end the threat.

“We’ve been thinking about this for four years and we always talked about going to the World Series,” she said. “And now we actually got to make it happen.”

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