Senior Mackenna Neuroth rounded out her collegiate career with a two-run, two-out, pinch-hit home run in the seventh.
May 16, 2015
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TUCSON, Ariz. -- The historic journey of the 2015 St. John's softball program came to an end on Saturday afternoon as the Red Storm (28-19) fell to New Mexico State (47-15), 9-4, in the elimination game at the NCAA Tucson Regional.
"It is never easy when you come to the end of the line, but after this season I have a lot of mixed emotions," said head coach Amy Kvilhaug. "I am so proud to have been a part of this season and to have such wonderful seniors and support."
The St. John's offense wasted no time as Hannah Anderson worked a four-pitch walk to lead off the game. After two quick outs on a pair of fielder's choices, senior Erin Burner was able to work her 32nd walk of the season, breaking the program's single-season record to put a pair of runners on base. Thanks to another walk to Brittany Garcia to load the bases, junior Yvonne Rericha was able to send a bloop single into right-center to score a pair of runs and give St. John's a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the first.
The Aggies were able to answer back in the bottom half of the frame, however, with a back-to-back singles and a RBI groundout to cut the Red Storm's lead to 2-1 before putting across two more runs in the second to take a 3-2 lead into the third.
Just as she has done all season long, senior Erin Burner came through in the clutch with a solo home run in the top of the third to tie the game up at 3-3. That home run marked the 43rd of the senior's career, putting Burner past Kacee Cox (2008-12) to make her the program's career home run leader. With the home run also came the senior's 49th RBI of the season, making her the program's single-season leader in that category as well.
Junior Tori Free was able to use that momentum in the bottom of the third as she struck out the side and the Red Storm was able to take back the lead in the top of the fourth on a RBI triple off the right-field wall by Hannah Anderson, giving St. John's a 4-3 lead.
In the bottom of the fifth, New Mexico State was able to take advantage of a pair of two-out St. John's errors to put across four unearned runs and take back the lead, 7-4, heading into the sixth.
Unfortunately, the Aggies were able to put across two more runs in the bottom of the sixth to extend out to a 9-4 lead.
The Red Storm wouldn't go down without a fight, however, as senior MacKenna Neuroth blasted a two-out, two-run, pinch-hit home run over the left-center wall to round out her collegiate career in style, making it a 9-6 final score.
"Mackenna came up in her last collegiate at bat and hit a homerun to dead centerfield," said Kvilhaug. "That was awesome. She will go and remember that for the rest of her life, and that means everything to me."
St. John's finished out its impressive season with single-season program records in BIG EAST wins (16), win streak (15), batting average (.317), runs (243), RBI (224) and walks (152) while setting program firsts with a BIG EAST regular season championship, a BIG EAST Tournament Championship title and the program's first ever NCAA Tournament appearance.
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