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Hofstra eliminated from NCAA softball tournament

Hofstra faces James Madison in the CAA Championship

Hofstra faces James Madison in the CAA Championship softball game at Hofstra University on May 10, 2013. Credit: Barry Sloan

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Hofstra's softball season came to a heartbreaking end Saturday night.

After losing to top-seeded Florida, 7-0, earlier Saturday, the Pride was knocked out of the NCAA Gainesville Regional in a 3-2, nine-inning loss to Florida Atlantic.

Catcher Erin Miller won the game with a walk-off double with one out in the ninth against Hofstra starter Morgan Lashley. Hofstra finished its season 38-14-1.

"It's tough that someone had to lose, because a game like that, you hate to see a loser," Hofstra coach Larissa Anderson said. "Overall, I'm very, very proud of our team and the way we competed all year long. No one thought we would be here."

Hofstra took a 2-0 lead in the second inning, scoring on Erin Trippi's single and Megan Patierno's double. But FAU tied the score in the third on Christina Martinez's RBI triple to the rightfield fence and a wild pitch by Lashley.

From that point, Lashley held FAU scoreless until the ninth. Leftfielder Chloe Fitzgerald and centerfielder Caryn Bailey made back-to-back diving catches in the sixth inning to keep the score tied.

"I was just thinking, let my defense work because I have all the faith in the world in them," Lashley said. "Sometimes the ball doesn't roll your way."

In the earlier loss, Florida had seven runs and 15 hits to beat the Pride. Hofstra starter Taylor Pirone surrendered two home runs, including a three-run shot by Taylore Fuller during a four-run first inning.

"We left the ball up in the zone," Anderson said. "You can't leave the ball up in the zone. Taylor hung a couple of changeups that were hit out. All the credit in the world to Florida. They hit our pitcher's mistakes."

After the FAU loss, Anderson got emotional talking about the three seniors on her roster.

"It's so hard for these players because they go into this not expecting to lose in any way," Anderson said. "They go into this thinking they are going to win a national championship . . . so it's devastating to me to see we have three seniors here that will never be able to step foot on the field again."

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