PROVIDENCE, R.I. – After making a return to the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) postseason, Mount Ida College saw their softball season come to a close on Tuesday evening, as they fell 10-0 to Johnson & Wales at the Scots-Miracle Gro Athetic Complex.
The Mustangs (8-24, 8-14 GNAC) had earned the #8 seed in the tournament thanks to a thrilling sweep of their final doubleheader of the season, but couldn't overcome the #5 seeded Wildcats, who improve to 16-13.
Limited to just five hits, Mount Ida had their best rally in the top of the first inning when Shannon McArthur (Coventry, R.I.) and Michele MacDonald (N. Dighton, Mass.) reached with a bunt single but, despite getting runners on second and third with two outs, the Mustangs couldn't drive in an early run.
Johnson & Wales sophomore Emily Schaper (Pompton Lakes, N.J.) went 1-for-3 with four RBI all collected when she cracked a grand slam over the center field fence to give JWU a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.
From there the hosts would not look back, as Schaper's classmate Diana Amendolara (Newtown, Pa.) went 2-for-2 on the evening and scored three runs while Natalie Kehlbeck (Weymouth, Mass.) and freshman Alex Fantasia (Framingham, Mass.) each knocked in two runs.
Five different players went 1-for-2 for the Mustangs, including Emma Morton (Winchester, Mass.), who cracked a double down the first base line to lead off the top of the fourth, but was picked off third as part of a strike-out-throw-out double play to end the inning.
Sophomore Nicole Handzel (Palmer, Mass.) suffered the loss, allowing seven earned runs over three innings with five strikeouts, while classmate Kaitlyn Muhlenforth (Bohemia, N.Y.) threw an inning of relief, allowing no earned runs for the visitors.
Freshman Jennifer Corona (Middle Island, N.Y.) tossed five innings of shutout ball while striking out two and giving up just five hits. She forced the Mustangs into eight groundouts and three fly outs en route to her 13th win of the season.
Johnson & Wales moves on to play in the double-elimination round of the GNAC softball tournament, which begins on Friday when they face Simmons at 5:00 pm.