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Queens of the diamond

By From the Lowell Sun

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Senior pitcher Kristen Mahoney (Burlington) was named the Most Valuable Player as No. 5 UMass Lowell defeated No. 6 Merrimack, 3-2, yesterday afternoon for the Northeast-10 Conference Tournament Championship at Le Moyne College.

The tournament title is the first-ever for the River Hawks in seven years as a member of the NE-10.

NCAA Tournament pairings were to be announced this morning.

The River Hawks have won 13 of their last 16 games and enter the NCAAs with a 28-20 record. UML had posted a combined 0-6 record against its NE-10 foes entering the NE-10 tournament.

"We've been hitting better and getting more key hits," UML head coach Harry Sauter said. "Midway through the season we had been struggling getting key hits and scoring key runs, to get ahead or stay ahead."

Mahoney scattered five hits, no runs and a walk while striking out six over six innings for her fourth straight victory of the tournament.

She improved to 17-8 and has won nine of her last 10 starts.

"Kristen is feeling strong and confident," Sauter said.

Mahoney, the NE-10 Pitcher of the Year last year, also did the job offensively, batting 1-for-2 with two RBI.

Junior second baseman Julie Brodie (Chelmsford) went 2-for-3 with one run.