Husson University junior righthander McKenna Smith tossed a three-hitter with 13 strikeouts and the team erased a 1-0 deficit with four runs in the fourth inning to earn its fourth consecutive North Atlantic Conference championship with a 4-1 win over Thomas College of Waterville at the O’Keefe Softball Field in Bangor.
Husson, which is 26-9, will now advance to the NCAA Division III Tournament. The selection show is Monday at 1 p.m.
Thomas, which won three games on Saturday to reach the championship round, wound up 19-17.
On Sunday, Husson parlayed four hits, a fielder’s choice, a sacrifice bunt, two stolen bases and a sacrifice fly into its decisive four-run rally.
Julia Gregoire opened the inning with a base hit and pinch-runner Jess Pomerleau advanced to second on a passed ball. Katie Raymond sacrificed her to third and she scored when Teagan Blackie reached on a bunt to pitcher Kelsey Currier.
Blackie stole second and Madelyn Fowler reached on an infield hit and then stole second, putting runners on second and third.
Kiara McLeod’s single up the middle scored Blackie, Katie Windsor’s bunt delivered Fowler and Kenzie Dore capped the rally with a sacrifice fly.
Raymond had a double and a single, Windsor singled twice and Whitney Bess had two singles for Husson.
Old Town’s Smith, who transferred to Husson from Division II Saint Anselm College (N.H.), improved to 17-3 as she didn’t walk anyone and threw 74 strikes among her 83 pitches.
Currier had two hits for Thomas and scored the only run on a Smith error in the first inning.
Husson opened the tournament on Friday with a come-from-behind 3-2 win over Thomas in eight innings and followed that up with a 6-3 victory over SUNY Cobleskill on Saturday.
On Friday, Dore belted a two-run homer to left with one out in the eighth inning to supply the Eagles with the win.It was her fourth homer of the season.
Thomas had scored a run in the top of the eighth to take a 2-1 lead.
Claudia Migliaccio singled home a first-inning for Thomas but sophomore Blackie’s first career homer tied it in the fifth.
Smith went the distance for the win, striking out 17 and allowing seven hits and two runs, one earned. She walked two.
Currier went 7 ⅓ innings and allowed six hits and three runs, two earned, with seven strikeouts and two walks.
Currier and Bailey Dunphy had a pair of singles each for Thomas and Maddie Rock doubled.
On Saturday, Fowler belted a two-run triple in a four-run fourth-inning rally and then scored on a wild pitch as Husson upended SUNY-Cobleskill.
Jen Jones went the distance for the win, allowing four hits and three runs, just one of which was earned, while striking out nine and walking two. She threw 72 strikes among 106 pitches.
Raymond had three singles for the Eagles.
Alexis Miranda had an RBI double in the three-run seventh-inning rally by SUNY-Cobleskill.
Thomas advanced to Sunday’s championship round with Saturday wins over SUNY-Canton (9-0 in five innings), Cazenovia (10-6) and SUNY-Cobleskill (6-4).
Smith was chosen the tournament’s Most Valuable Player and she was joined on the all-tournament team by teammates Dore, Blackie and Meagan Gosselin; Thomas College’s Currier, Dunphy and Migliaccio; SUNY Cobleskill’s Jill Nitchman and Maya Davies and Cazenovia’s Serafina French and Caitlin Kelleher.