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Molloy wins in 15, moves step closer to CWS

Molloy starting pitcher Megan Butterworth delivers a pitch

Molloy starting pitcher Megan Butterworth delivers a pitch to the plate against Dominican College. (May 6, 2012) Credit: James Escher

NEW HAVEN -- The Molloy and Southern Connecticut State softball teams were prepared for the possibility of playing two games Saturday to earn a berth into the Division II College World Series.

Friday was supposed to be the light day. but it didn't turn out that way.

Lauren Alexander cracked a three-run homer in the 15th inning and No. 2 Molloy knocked off top-seeded SCSU, 7-3, in a super regional marathon at Yale's De Witt Family Field on Friday.

The two teams square off again Saturday at 1 p.m. If Molloy wins, it will advance to the CWS, which begins Wednesday in Louisville, Ky. If Southern wins, the teams play the deciding game immediately after.

"The game had so many ups and downs, it's hard to describe," Molloy coach Susan Cassidy-Lyke said. "I can't imagine how [Southern] feels after this game but I'm sure glad that we won."

Friday's game lasted 4 hours, 11 minutes and had just about everything, including Alexander's first career homer.

"I've never hit one before but it feels great," Alexander said. "I was just trying to get a single."

There were more than 300 pitches thrown and 134 batters came to the plate. The teams totaled 25 hits and left 34 runners on base.

Both teams had runners thrown out at the plate and Molloy centerfielder Jeana Frey robbed Southern's Alyssa Downs of a potential game-winning home run in the 10th.

The game was tied at 2 after six innings and neither team scored another run until the 13th, when both got one. Molloy looked as if it had the game won in the top of the 13th when Nicolette Sinagra stroked an RBI single.

But Southern tied the game with two outs in the bottom of the inning on a single by Stacy Pouliot, which tipped off Alexander's glove as the rightfielder tried to end the game with a diving catch.

With the bases loaded and one out in the 15th, Molloy's Josette Cavallaro hit a flare to leftfield. Carla Campagna scored but Haley Calderwood was forced out at third. Alexander then homered.

Megan Butterworth got the win in relief of Kelley Jansen. Butterworth pitched nine innings, allowing one run and five hits, striking out nine.

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