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Sophie Dandola tosses perfect game to keep Hofstra alive but Pride is eliminated in second game

Hofstra's Sophie Dandola (27) delivers a pitch during

Hofstra's Sophie Dandola (27) delivers a pitch during the Colonial Athletic Association softball championship game against James Madison in Harrisonburg, Va., Friday, May 11, 2018. Credit: AP / Daniel Lin

When the Hofstra softball team needed Sophie Dandola the most, she was perfect.

The true freshman out of Seaford High School tossed a 58-pitch perfect game as Hof stra defeated UNC Greensboro, 6-0, Saturday evening in an NCAA Division I Tournament elimination game at the University of South Carolina in the Columbia Regional. It was the 22nd perfect game in NCAA Tournament history and first since 2013.

“I’m so excited for Sophie,” coach Larissa Anderson said. “To accomplish it in as few pitches as she did is very impressive. And it was a total team effort.”

But Hofstra was unable to win the second game, as Krystan White hit a walk-off two-run home run with two outs in the seventh as No. 9 South Carolina knocked Hofstra out of the tournament, 5-4.

Hofstra took a 4-3 lead in the sixth inning on a two-run double by Sarah Edwards, a Bay Shore High School graduate, before the Gamecocks’ comeback victory. Hofstra finishes its season at 41-14 and as Colonial Athletic Association champions.

Dandola was in complete control against Greensboro, never throwing more than 10 pitches in a single inning, finishing the game retiring all 21 batters with four strikeouts. She recorded 15 groundouts, a pop-out with only one ball reaching the outfield.

“She did what she does best, which is roll out ground balls,” Anderson said. “And her defense was there to back her up the whole way.”

Nikki Michalowski went 2-for-3, including a two-run double, driving in Lydia Witkowski and Courtney Scarpato for the Pride’s first runs of the tournament as part of a three-run fourth inning and she added a single to drive in Kristin Hallam for the final run in the 6-0 win over Greensboro (46-13).

Brittany Allocca and Michalowski each hit solo home runs for the Pride against South Carolina (47-15).

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