PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Perhaps foreshadowing the eventual outcome, wet, overcast skies were the backdrop for the end of a magical run for the St. Joseph’s softball team Sunday morning in its quest to advance to its first NCAA Division III World Series.

Rhode Island College, the host of the Providence Regional, took advantage of a three-run third inning and a trio of fielding miscues by St. Joseph’s in a 7-4 victory that eliminated the Monks from the NCAA tournament.

St. Joseph’s finished with a 37-10 record, equaling the second most wins in team history. The Monks won their first two games in the regional tournament before dropping their last two.

While the Monks were disappointed that they didn’t advance to face Eastern Connecticut State in the regional final, Coach Jamie Smyth believes the accomplishments of his team will eventually come to the forefront.

“That’s what I told them,” said Smyth after gathering with his players. “We’ll appreciate what we’ve done two or three days down the road when they’ve had a chance to decompress a little bit. We’ve played a lot of softball and we’ve been on the road what seems like forever. Everyone is exhausted, especially emotionally, but we couldn’t have asked for much more.”

After retiring the first six batters she faced, St. Joseph’s pitcher Maddie Kluna ran into trouble in the third inning when Laura DeNoncour reached on an error and was replaced by pinch runner Jaci Lata, who took second on a sacrifice by Donielle Mattoon. Kayla Jandreau broke the scoreless tie when she hit a wind-aided home run to left.

The Anchorwomen padded their lead later in the inning on a two-out RBI single by Chelsi Panarelli.

“In this tournament you have to be able to keep the game close,” Smyth said. “But these guys never quit. They don’t necessarily look at the scoreboard, they keep trying to have good at bats.”

St. Joseph’s edged to within one in the bottom half of the fourth when Alyssa Dunn hammered a home run down the left-field line with Jill Howard on base. Dunn finished 3 for 3 in her final game for the Monks.

“She’s one of the best kids I’ve been associated with, and not just as a player,” Smyth said of the senior from Standish. “Each at-bat is a new at-bat for her. She had four hits in the first game of the tournament and three today, so she started off with a bang and finished her career with a bang.”

Mattoon capped a two-run inning for RIC in the sixth with a well-executed squeeze bunt that scored Stacy Pokora, providing the Anchorwomen with a 5-2 advantage.

Pokora added an RBI single in the seventh off reliever Kiera Walsh.

Kluna (14-5) worked six innings, allowing nine hits. Four of the five runs against her were unearned.

“We have leaned on her the last few days,” Smyth said. “I think she competed and battled and either did or didn’t have her best stuff, but the important thing is that she didn’t have a problem going out there and trying to win a ballgame for us.”

Heather Tripp slammed a two-run homer with nobody out in the bottom of the seventh to give the Monks a bit of hope. After allowing two more base runners, RIC pitcher Amanda Berard ended the game by getting Katelyn Call to fly to left.

“We know what it takes to win a regional now and we know who are the top teams in the region, so that’s something we have to strive for next year and try and get over the last couple of teams,’ said Smyth.