LYNCHBURG, VA – The Iona College softball progarm's season came to a close against University of North Carolina Wilmington on Wednesday evening. The Seahawks bested the Gaels 6-2, using a five run fourth inning to carry itself past the Maroon & Gold.
Senior first basemen Kristen Turner climbed another rung in the program's historic ladder in the loss. In her final collegiate at-bat, the four time All-MAAC First Team honoree crushed her first career triple to right field for her 208th career hit, tying her for first place all-time in Iona history with Eileen McCann ('14).
Sophomore Alana Evans started the game and went 3.1 innings, allowing six earned runs on seven hits and two walks. Of the seven hits knocked around by UNCW, only one was for extra bases. Freshman Marnie Skinner came on in relief and went 3.2 innings, scattering four hits while allowing no runs while striking out three.
The Seahawks scored their first run in the top of the third inning with an RBI single through the left side from senior Lauren Moore. The Gaels responded right away in the bottom of the third with junior Tori Danner scoring senior Kelsey Long on a sacrifice fly.
The damage came raining down in the top half of the fourth. Sophomore Cali Jones led UNCW with a double to left center and advanced to third after a sacrifice bunt. Pinch hitter sophomore Anna Hessenthaler came up and drove home Jones with a single to right. From there, the Seahawks hit four straight singles before another out was recorded. At the end of the inning, UNCW's 10 batters in the frame resulted in five runs on seven hits while still leaving two on base.
Iona had an immediate chance to respond in its half of the fourth. After freshman designated player Jasmine Temple walked with one out, sophomore third basemen Kimberly Chiapparelli doubled to right center to make it second and third. After Long reached on a misguided fielder's choice, the Gaels had the top of the order up with the bases loaded. The outfield duo of senior Ashlyn Morris and sophomore Marisa Gergel both lined hard out to third base to strand three on the bases.
Iona didn't go down quietly in the seventh. Turner led Iona's final at-bat with her record breaking triple. She came home to score on a one RBI single from senior Katie Newton.
The Gaels stranded a season-high 12 base runners on base. UNCW was 3-for-3 with runners on third base and less than two out; the Seahawks hits .571 (8-for-14) with any baserunner on.
Iona finished the season with a 27-24 overall record. It's the program's highest overall win total since 2012 when the program wont a program-record 35 games.