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Brandywine Falls Short In USCAA World Series Finale

Rachel Cherubini
Rachel Cherubini

DUBOIS, Pa. – Penn State Brandywine fought to the bitter end, but it was not enough as the fifth-seeded Lions dropped an 11-7 decision to third-seeded Carlow University on Wednesday morning, ending their run at the USCAA Softball World Series.

Brandywine finished the 10-team World Series tied for fifth, marking the third consecutive year the team posted a top-five showing at the national tournament. This spring, the Lions won 27-of-38 games, breaking the team's single-season victory record previously held by the 2016 squad, which won 25 games.

After surviving two elimination games on Tuesday by winning both contests by run rule, Brandywine fell behind 3-0, but rallied to tie the score at 3-3 after Rachel Cherubini (Pottstown, Pa./Pottsgrove) and Alexa Anderson (West Deptford, N.J./West Deptford) scored on an error in the first inning and Katy Steffen (Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown West) tripled in Anderson two frames later.

The Celtics scored three times in the fourth and once more in the fifth to retake the lead. Brandywine continued to battle, using a Cherubini sacrifice fly that plated Arianna Segich (Ocean City, N.J./Ocean City) to make the score 7-4 after five innings.

Carlow added two more runs in the sixth, but Brandywine countered with a Cherubini two-run single as Katie DeStefano (Kennett Square, Pa./Kennett) and Haley Grossi (Monmouth Junction, N.J./South Brunswick) crossed home, slicing the deficit to 9-6.

After Carlow got two more insurance runs in the seventh, Brandywine got its final at-bat started with a triple from Steffen, who later scored on Julie Foeldes' (Kendall Park, N.J./South Brunswick) groundout, but Brandywine could not get any closer.

 Steffen finished with three triples in four at-bats, while scoring once and driving in one run. Her 104-game career came to an end with 125 hits, over half of which went for extra bases, including 19 home runs, and 136 RBI.

Foeldes added three RBI to her ledger, giving her 22 this spring and 85 for her career. The senior catcher played in more games than any player in Brandywine history over the last four years, appearing in 148 games with 108 career hits.

DeStefano struck out three during her final appearance in a Brandywine uniform, firing her 29th complete game of the season and fourth in the last three days. The three-time all-American owns nearly every pitching record at Brandywine after striking out 254 batters and winning 41 games, 22 of which came in 2018, during the last four seasons.

Cherubini collected three hits and three RBI, while Segich tallied a single and a triple in four at-bats.