Rams Win Second Championship in Three Years; Zino MVP

Rams Win Second Championship in Three Years; Zino MVP

 Rams Celebrate Skyline Championship; Zino MVP

#1 Farmingdale State - 3, #2 NYU-Poly - 2

  Farmingdale, N.Y. - The Farmingdale State softball team won their second Skyline Conference Title in three years today with a 3-2 victory over NYU-Poly (23-15) in the Championship game, receiving the conference's automatic bid to the Division III NCAA Tournament.

Junior pitcher Hope Zino (Bay Shore, N.Y.) was named the Skyline Championship MVP after striking out 20 and allowing just 11 hits in the Rams three-game sweep through the tourney, improving her season record to 20-1 and the teams overall record to 32-5. Hope's 20th win breaks senior teammate Heather Buckshaw's (Oakdale, N.Y.) former school record of 19 wins in a season, set back in 2008.

Farmingdale State was designated the visiting team today and fell behind 1-0 in the first inning. In the top of the second, Rams junior Madison Snyder (Medford, N.Y.) led off with a single to left field, before moving over on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore third baseman Kristen Flint (Brentwood, N.Y.). Sophomore catcher Lauren Nelson (Levittown, N.Y.) was safe at first on a fielding error while Snyder rounded the bases, sliding under the tag at home to tie the game at 1-1.

  In the top of the third, Farmingdale tacked on two more runs to make it 3-1. Junior center fielder Kaitlin Keenan (West Islip, N.Y.) reached second on a fielding error, before junior left fielder Rebecca Richman (West Islip, N.Y.) moved her to third with a sacrifice bunt. Senior shortstop Nicole Farber (Oakdale, N.Y.) hit a grounder to third and beat out the throw for a one-RBI infield single, scoring Keenan. A Snyder RBI single to center allowed Farber to score on some smart base running, catching the defense off-guard as she took three bases for the second run of the inning.

 Zino threw five scoreless innings, before Poly scored one run to make it 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh, but a fly ball to right field caught by sophomore Jennifer Jarczynski (West Babylon, N.Y.) would be all the Rams needed to capture the 2011 Championship.

Farber and Snyder both finished 2-for-3 with one RBI and one run scored. NYU-Poly sophomore pitcher Miranda Merilli (Altoona, Pa.) struck out six and allowed no earned runs in the loss.

The Rams will now play in the NCAA Regionals from May 12-16, at a site to be determined.