The College of Staten Island softball team scored a solid comeback earlier in the afternoon, but couldn’t complete one in their second elimination contest of the afternoon, coming back to tie only to fall, 3-2, at the hands of Manhattanville College in walk-off fashion.  The game was played on the campus The College of New Jersey in Ewing, NJ, as part of the NCAA Division III National Championship Regional Round.  Manhattanville will advance to face the host Lions tomorrow for the Regional Championship.  CSI’s season finalized at 26-14.

In what was a recurring theme of the tournament, the Dolphins made lots of noise early but could not register a run until the later innings.  In today’s game, CSI got runners at first and second in the first frame, but MC starter Julianna Orrico induced an inning-ending groundout to end the threat.

Meanwhile, against CSI starter Nicolette Trapani, the Valiants were able to hit paydirt in the first, notching a run off of an Alicia Marino RBI single that plated Desiree Buboi, who began the inning with a double.  Trapani got out of the rest of the inning unscathed, and again CSI put a base runner on second base in the second, this time via a Chyanne Gilliam single and a passed ball, but Orrico registered a strikeout and pop out to end another threat.

Yet again, the Dolphins threatened in the third.  Jacqueline Cautela notched an infield single and Antoinette Galbo earned on via a fielder’s choice that saw Cautela safe at second.  With no one out, CSI could not complete a run, as Christina Tufano popped out, Vanessa Joia struck out, and Kristy Colangelo flied out to center field.  Again, MC took advantage the other way.  In the bottom of the third, Alexis Ventarola singled to start the frame and took second and third via a single and a CSI error.  After an infield single loaded the bases, Trapani issued a bases-loaded walk to Marino that plated Ventarola, giving MC a 2-0 lead.

CSI went quietly in the fourth, but finally were able to take advantage in the fifth, helped along by a Valiant error.  Cautela started with a one-out single, and advanced to second when Galbo earned on via the error.  After another out, Joia stroked an RBI-single to center to cut the lead in half and Colangelo followed with another RBI single to right field.  Again Orrico settled from there, but not before CSI secured the 2-2 tie.

Trapani yielded a hit and a walk in the bottom of the fifth but escaped the inning when she struck out Dolores Diemicke.  Alycia Feeney then took over in the circle for Manhattanville, and despite issuing a walk in the sixth, was able to retire the CSI lineup quietly in the inning.  The same held true for Trapani in the bottom stage of the sixth, setting things up for the final turn.

In their half of the frame, the Dolphins went down in order, but the Valiants had other plans.  Trapani lost Laurel Coito to a base on balls, but rebounded to retire the next two batters.  That brought up Aarin Hartenstein, who calmly powered a double down the left field line.  Coito was running all the way on the play and came in the score in walk-off fashion giving the Valiants the 3-2 win as the team swarmed Hartenstein.

Manhattanville out-hit CSI, 8-6, paced by Marino’s two hits.  CSI’s only multi-hit game belonged to Cautela, who finished 2-4 with a run scored.  Trapani took the loss, surrendering three earned runs on eight hits, walking four and fanning two.  Feeney got the win with two scoreless relief innings.

The loss marked the second-straight year that the Dolphins were able to register a win in the NCAA Tournament but fail to make a trip to the Regional Final.  Still, the Dolphins finished with 26 wins this season, and their 18th CUNYAC Championship and fourth in a row after defeating Hunter College last weekend.