After a disappointing week of play, including doubleheader losses to Rutgers-Camden and undefeated Ramapo College, the College’s softball team dropped another pair of tight losses to William Paterson University on Saturday at Wightman Field.
“They were two tough losses that we needed to win,” sophomore Kristen Zimmerman said, in reference to the College’s 1-0 opening game and 5-4 nightcap defeats. “The NJAC is not really in our hands. We wish it was, but we have to win the rest of our games to keep it in our control.”
William Paterson University jumped out to an early lead in the second game of the doubleheader, posting three runs in the first inning.
Shortstop Katie Morris slammed a two-run double to ignite the Pioneers, and pitcher Sam Kszepka drilled an RBI single to continue the rally.
The Lions (5-7 New Jersey Athletic Conference, 18-10 overall) took a 4-3 lead during a three run third inning, forcing the Pioneers to turn to their bullpen in relief. Senior Diane Catalano answered the call by retiring the last batter of the inning, and the next 12 straight Lions to enter the batter’s box. She allowed only one hit in her four-and-a-third innings on the mound.
The Pioneers sent eight batters to the plate in the bottom of the sixth, and scored two runs to recapture the lead, and post a final 5-4 victory over the Lions.
Pioneers 1, Lions 0
Sophomore pitcher Jessica Donahue hurled eight innings of scoreless softball, allowing just two hits, giving up one base and fanning four Pioneer batters, before the Pioneers defeated the Lions 1-0 in the ninth inning of the opening game of Saturday’s doubleheader.
“I felt good on Saturday,” Donahue said. “It is a shame we lost, we definitely played better than we have in the past week or two, but it did not show in the end result.”
Donohue and William Paterson University pitcher Sam Kszepka showcased their arms in a pitching duel. Kszepka also gave up only two hits and one base on balls in the contest. She struck out seven to record her second shut out of the spring and improved her record to 6-0 this season. Donohue fell to 10-5 with the loss.
The Pioneers posted the lone run of the game in the bottom of the ninth inning, when right fielder Danielle Patlen started the inning off on second base, in compliance with the international tiebreaker rule. The Pioneers managed to load the bases with only one out. Patlen crossed the plate, and scored the decisive run, as a result of a Lion error.
“We have to keep stepping up from here, and finish the season on a good note,” Donohue said.
The Lions host Kean University on April 26, 12:00 p.m.