Softball wins GNAC Championship

Saturday, April 28, 2001 was a triumphant, landmark day for Pine Manor College and its softball program. The Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) softball semifinals and finals were held at PMC that day, and the Gators took the series by storm, earning their first-ever invitation to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) National Championship.

In the first semifinal game against Western New England College (WNEC), Springfiled, MA, a bottom-of-the-seventh double by PMC's Bethany Medeiros sent Sara Pray scampering all the way around from first to score the game's only run. Bethany's sister Shannon Medeiros hurled a masterpiece in shutting down a potent WNEC lineup.

The second semifinal game was no less dramatic, as Emerson College, Boston, MA, eked out a one-run victory over defending conference champ, St. Joseph's College, West Hartford, CT. So the stage was set for a showdown for the championship between Emerson and Pine Manor.

The two teams took turns holding the lead in the first few innings until Pine Manor's relentless offensive attack led by Kim Brizido took command. A gusty pitching performance by Shannon and a sterling defensive display by shortshop Tamara Rizzo ultimately iced the game (8-4) and the title for the Gators.

Bethany, Kim, and Tamara earned All-Tournament honors, and Shannon was named tourney MVP for their outstanding performances in the two games. Many more awards will stream in for the 27-5 Gators in the upcoming days and weeks, but for now, we can enjoy a long-awaited PMC first: a Great Northeast Athletic Conference Championship!

Semi Finals:

Pine Manor College 1, Western New England College 0
Winning pitcher - Shannon Medeiros
Losing pitcher - Sierra Eurkus

St. Joseph College (CT) 1, Emerson College 2
Winning pitcher - Stephanie Trexler
Losing pitcher - Mary Ann Parsons

Championship Game:

Pine Manor College 8, Emerson College 4
Winning pitcher - Shannon Medeiros
Losing pitcher - Stephanie Trexler

GNAC All-Tournament Team

Shannon Medeiros, PMC Sr P/SS Swansea, MA
Bethany Medeiros, PMC Jr 3B Swansea, MA
Tamara Rizzo, PMC So P/SS Diamond Bar, CA
Kim Brizido, PMC Jr OF Swansea, MA
Heather Maurer, Emerson Sr 1B Mineral Ridge, OH
Stephanie Trexler, Emerson Jr P Anaheim, CA
Katie Fennelly, Emerson Fr IF/OF Baldwin, NY
Valerie Gasparino, St Joseph So SS Windsor Locks, CT
Mary Ann Parsons, St Joseph Jr P/DH Clinton, CT
Sierra Eurkus, WNEC So P Bondsville, MA
Jeni Pernaa*, WNEC Jr P/2B Ashby, MA
Tournament MVP Shannon Medeiros, PMC