PATCHOGUE – Senior Cindy Connoly worked her second shutout of the season and sophomore Lauren Oury drove in two runs in the seventh inning on Sunday as the Mount Saint Mary College Softball team claimed its third straight Skyline Conference Championship with a 3-0 win over St. Joseph’s-L.I.. After going 3-0 on the weekend with 22 strikeouts, Connoly was named the Championship’s Most Outstanding Player for the third straight time.
Connoly stifled the Golden Eagles on Sunday, allowing only three singles. St Joseph’s advanced a runner into scoring position just twice on the day, a runner on second in both the second and fourth innings, but never saw a runner reach third base. Connoly walked two hitters and hit another, but struck out nine as she moved to 13-8 on the season and lowered her earned run average to 2.07. She has fanned 177 hitters and walked only 13 in 25 appearances to date.
Mount Saint Mary got on the board in the second inning with the eventual game winning run. Singles from Emily Lang (Westtown, N.Y.) and Morgan O’Neill and a walk to Oury loaded the bases with one out in the inning. The only run of the frame came home when Bridget Bennett was hit with a pitch to give the Mount an early 1-0 lead.
The Knights threatened again in the third, loading the bases, and put two more runners on in the fourth inning, before they finally broke through with two insurance runs in the seventh.
Kathryn Eiler, Lang and Taylor Canto all singled with one out to load the bases. Following a strikeout, Oury shot a single to left center field to drive in two runs to close out the scoring in the game.
Connoly allowed a one-out single in the seventh inning, but picked up her ninth strikeout and a groundout to second base to finish off her 16th complete game of the season. Connoly allowed only two runs in three appearances in the championship.
Mount Saint Mary outhit St. Joseph’s 9-3 on Sunday, with Lang, Canto and O’Neill all finishing with two hits. O’Neill went 2-for-3 with a double, with Lang and Canto each going 2-for-4 with a run scored.
Sunday’s win is the Mount’s sixth straight and moves it to 20-14 overall on the season. The Knights will learn their NCAA opponent on Monday at 1:00 p.m.