Late Heroics Lift Gulls In Opener

The remarkable story of All-America goalie Matt Freitas. The walkoff home run by Abby Mace. And the baseball finals begin today.

JUNE 7, 2023 | written by STEVE ULRICH

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»🐫 Hump Day. Today, we crown a softball champion.

» What’s Happening Today: The DIII Baseball and Softball Championships continue. The NCAA Lacrosse Playing Rules Committee (through Wednesday).

TOP STORY
1. Late Heroics Lift Gulls In Opener

Abby Mace, Salisbury

Better late than never.

Abby Mace drilled a two-run home run to right center field in the bottom of the seventh to lift Salisbury to a 4-2 victory over Trine in the opening game of the 2023 NCAA Division III softball championship.

The Sea Gulls (49-4) can win the best-of-three series with one victory today, while the Thunder (44-6) needs to take two for the title.

Game Recaps | Salisbury | Trine

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BASEBALL
2. Hopkins, Lynchburg Open Series

The opening game of the NCAA Division III baseball championship series is today in Cedar Rapids as No. 1 Johns Hopkins takes on No. 6 Lynchburg.

It is the second appearance in the final for the Blue Jays and first since 2008 when JHU fell to Trinity (Conn.). The Hornets are making their initial trip to the final series.

RHP Gabriel Romano will likely take the mound for Hop. He has a 10-1 record on the season with a 1.62 ERA. Senior RHP Zack Potts is his probable opponent. He leads Lynchburg with a 12-0 record and a 2.34 ERA.

FEATURE
3. Freitas’ Gratitude Leads To Lax Award

Matt Freitas, Williams (photo by Jay Corey)

by Cody Kluge, BVM Sports

When he was in fourth grade, Matt Freitas began playing lacrosse by mistake. While his mom thought she had signed him up for indoor flag football, it turned out to be lacrosse, but it was too late to back out.

Although playing the sport might not have been his intention, Freitas quickly found a love for being a goalie.

“I convinced them to throw me in to play some goalie and I never let go of that spot,” Freitas said. “I just kind of fell in love with it right away.”

» Why It Matters: “In 2013, when he was just 11 years old, Freitas’ life changed completely. While riding in the back right seat of his dad’s car on the highway as they headed to Maine for a ski trip, Freitas, who was taking a nap at the time, was struck by a car that had swerved to the left and hit his father’s car right where Freitas was sitting. He had to have his right leg amputated as a result of the crash, potentially putting his future in the sport in question.”

» Inspiration: “I’m never going to let this thing have that big of an impact on what I can do and what I choose to do,” Freitas said. “Especially sports related, but obviously life related, I really try to continue to live that everyday. It makes as much of an impact as I let it.”

» The Bottom Line: “Constantly gaining more trust from his team, Freitas had a solid year for a near-.500 Ephs squad, setting the stage for his senior season. Going into it, the goalie set out to make first-team All-NESCAC, become an All-American, and earn the USILA outstanding goalie award, each of which he accomplished as he made 245 saves across 18 games with a nearly 57% save percentage.”

» Quotable: “I was competing on the exact same field as a lot of people with two legs,” Freitas concluded. “Everybody else had two legs. And obviously I made it work. I’m really, really proud of that, and I always will be.”

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HEALTH
4. 13 Named To Working Group

Division III has announced the 13 members of a working group to identify the issues impacting Division III schools’ ability to hire and retain athletic trainers. The group will make recommendations to help schools address those issues.

  • Stevie Baker-Watson, DePauw

  • Rick Burr, Babson

  • Ryan Callahan, Wartburg

  • Josh Dreher, Texas-Dallas

  • Heather Grant, Bridgewater

  • Lauren Haynie, Brandeis

  • Steve Hillmer, UW-Whitewater

  • Ashley Hodges, Notre Dame (Md.)

  • Mary-Beth Lamb, Bridgewater State

  • Steve Mauro, Alfred State

  • Becky Roark, Pomona-Pitzer

  • Mike Snyder, Pacific Lutheran

  • Andrea Talentino, Augustana

NEWS
5. Lightning Round ⚡️

🗞 News. The Buffalo News writes that Medaille’s demise shows why many small colleges are struggling.

 🎂 Happy Birthday Cake and candles for Hannah Starr.

  • Do you know of someone celebrating an upcoming birthday? Drop us a line at [email protected]

TRANSACTIONS
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