Lady Vikings Make History By Winning College's First Region III Softball Title

CONTACT: Jeff Foley (518) 629-8085 or (518) 210-4161

FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Saturday, May 11, 2002

Hudson Valley Beats Monroe, 11-5, To Qualify For National Tourney

Corning, N.Y., May 11, 2002 – For the first time in the college's history, Hudson Valley Community College's softball squad clinched a berth in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division III national championship tournament, defeating Monroe Community College in the Region III championship game this afternoon. The Lady Vikings swept through the four-team, double-elimination Region III tourney, downing Alfred State College and Monroe on Friday, and beating Monroe again today, 11-5.

"This is just awesome," said coach Chuck Sosnowski, in just his second season at Hudson Valley. "These young women have played their hearts out all season."

This marks the first time that Hudson Valley's softball team has won a Region III title, and, as the victors of the Region III tourney, the Lady Vikings are automatically entered in the Division III national championship tourney, which begins May 16 in Joliet, Illinois. Hudson Valley (32-7 overall and ranked fifth in the nation among Division III junior colleges) will carry a nine-game winning streak into the prestigious tournament.

The Lady Vikings trailed Monroe, 5-1, after two innings, but Hudson Valley's bats came alive in the bottom of the third. Hudson Valley sent 14 batters to the plate in the frame, pounding out eight runs on five hits to take a 9-5 lead.

While the Lady Vikings added two more insurance runs in the fifth, starter Christyn Hamel (Averill Park H.S.) held Monroe to just one hit over the game's final five innings.

During Hudson Valley's third-inning explosion, Kiah Narotski (Hoosick Falls H.S.) had the game-winning hit, a two-run single that scored Kelly Scott (Schuylerville H.S.) and Jill Fox (Bishop Maginn H.S.) and gave Hudson Valley a 6-5 advantage.

Fox had three hits on the day, as did Kimberly Welcome (Cohoes H.S.) and Lindsey Bradt (Bishop Maginn H.S.). Bradt, who scored twice in the third, finished with three runs, a run batted in and a double.

Hamel, a First Team All-Region III pitcher who improved to 13-2 on the season, recorded three strikeouts and contributed a pair of singles.

Hudson Valley is now 29-2 in its last 31 games.

"This has been a great season," Sosnowski said. "We've had solid pitching, solid hitting and solid fielding. And that's what it takes to win games. I'm so proud of my players. It's wonderful that this is Hudson Valley's first Region III championship, and I'm honored to be taking this team to the national championship tournament. They deserve it."