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Muhlenberg College

Sunday, May 3, 2009

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Track and field

softball reigns as cc champ

Centennial Conference champions The Muhlenberg softball team had everything fall into place – most notably a ton of raindrops – and claimed the 2009 Centennial Conference championship.

The Mules had a 1-0 lead after four innings of their elimination game against Gettysburg when play was halted due to rain. The game had been played in a light to steady rain, but as the day wore on the field conditions worsened and the ball became harder to grip.

After waiting more than an hour without a break in the rain, game officials determined that the field could not be restored to playable condition in time to complete the game and the rest of the tournament. By CC policy, the championship and automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament went to the highest remaining seed in the tournament, which was second-seeded Muhlenberg. The top seed, Ursinus, was eliminated on the first day after losing to Haverford and Gettysburg.

The CC championship is the Mules’ fourth overall and their first since 2003. Muhlenberg will be making its eighth NCAA Tournament appearance. Sites for the tournament, which begins on Thursday, May 7, will be announced Monday at 11 a.m. on www.NCAA.com.

“We’re ecstatic to be the Centennial Conference champions,” said senior Samantha Crist, whose two-out single in the fourth brought in the lone run of the rained-out game. “We would have liked to have earned it on the field.”

The ending disappointed all three teams left in the tournament, but none more so than Haverford, which went 2-0 on the first day of the playoffs. The CC policy is consistent with NCAA policy for a tournament that cannot be completed, but that didn’t make it any easier for the Fords, especially their seniors.

“We would have had the same reaction,” said Crist.

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