With the 1-0 victory in game one and DePaul’s loss on Friday, the Red Storm (27-21, 14-4 Big East) captured its third conference regular-season title in the last five years.
The Johnnies were the only team to finish the 2019 campaign with a win percentage over .700 in conference play (.778).
History has been in St. John’s favor when entering the tournament as the top seed. The 2015 squad earned the top spot in the league tournament before bringing the program’s first Big East Championship back to Queens.
In 2017, St. John’s received conference coaching staff of the year honors for its successful campaign.
Morris outdueled Butler’s Alyssa Graves to solidify the postseason top spot.
The Johnnies’ ace allowed runners on through the first three innings, working her way out of a trio of jams and stranding four Bulldogs. The Virginia native settled down in the fourth and fifth frames, retiring five straight batters before being tested again in the following inning.
Morris recorded two of her six strikeouts in the sixth by denying Butler’s (16-32, 4-12 Big East) two-out rally and leaving runners on first and third.
Kaitlin Mattera made two big defensive plays to keep Butler at bay. In the fifth inning, she caught the Bulldogs’ Alyssa Garcia stealing second to prevent the home team from putting a runner in scoring position.
In the following inning, she nearly scaled the mesh behind home plate to make a catch in the next frame.
The Red Storm scored its lone run of the game in the visitor half of the sixth. Junior Marissa Rizzi lined a double down the left-field line to start the inning.
Two pitches later, freshman Peyton Cody knocked in her 44th RBI of the season on a single to score the Johnnies’ first baseman. She fell two-shy of tying Gretchen Bowie’s rookie record for most RBIs in a season.
The Johnnies are slated to open the Big East Softball Tournament against fourth-seededd Villanova on Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.