NCAA Division III Softball Willimantic Regional: Korn, University of Rochester Edges Salem State, 4-3

MANSFIELD, Conn.  – Sophomore Nina Korn (Rochester, N.Y.) batted 3-for-4 including what proved to be the game-winning home run to lift third-seeded University of Rochester to a 4-3 victory over seventh-seeded Salem State in the elimination bracket of the 2012 NCAA Division-III Softball Willimatic Regional on Friday afternoon. The triumph also served as the 300th win for the Yellowjackets softball program.

Senior Nat Sassaman (Phoenixville, Pa.) joined Korn with a pair of hits while freshman Brittany Grage (Pittsford, N.Y.) drove in a pair of runs for University of Rochester. Senior Michelle Grifoni (Peabody, Mass.) and junior Alyssa Bryan (Stoneham, Mass.) each collected a pair of hits for the Vikings as Bryan also pitched in with two RBI.

Following a scoreless first, the two clubs traded tallies as University of Rochester's Sassaman and Salem State junior Sarra Bergeron (Methuen, Mass.) each found an opening in left field for an RBI double.

The Yellowjackets reclaimed the lead in the third on a two-run shot by Grage as the game would remain 3-1 until the seventh.

Korn lifted a home run to right field to push the lead to 4-1 in the top of the seventh.

Salem State began to rally with two outs in the bottom of the stanza. Grifoni started things off with a single to center. Senior Gabbie Vitale (Danvers, Mass.) was then hit by a pitch to set the table for a 2-RBI double by Bryan. After a walk, the game would come to a close as the Vikings were caught stealing.

Grage improved to 12-6 as she surrendered three runs – two earned – on seven hits while striking out three for the Yellowjackets. Senior Katelynn Fanning (East Boston, Mass.) slipped to 12-7 after allowing four runs on nine hits and striking out a game-high four batters.

University of Rochester (29-14) will be back in action tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. against the loser of this afternoon's matchup between Eastern Connecticut State University and Coast Guard. Salem State ends the 2012 campaign with a 33-14 ledger.