Softball falters against conference opponents

The College’s softball team lost three of four conference games against Rowan University and Montclair State University last week.

With the losses, the Lions fall to 20-11 overall and 5-5 in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC).

“We’re kind of in shock that a team with this much talent is in this position right now,” senior pitcher Jess Donohue said, referring to the fifth place spot the Lions currently hold in the NJAC standings.

The Lions dropped both games of the doubleheader against the Red Hawks of Montclair on Saturday. The Hawks were led by freshman infielder Jackie Ferranti, who collected five hits and three RBIs on the day.

In the opener, Montclair defeated the Lions 4-1 behind two Red Hawk home runs. Montclair senior designated player Nicole Pacicco hit a solo shot over the left center field fence in the first inning.

The Lions came back to tie the game in the top of the second as senior outfielder Cristina Venetucci singled home sophomore outfielder Kristin Boyer, who led off the frame with a double.

The Hawks made it a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the third when Ferranti’s blast to left center glanced off the glove of freshman outfielder Christina Lizzi and over the fence for a three-run homer.

Junior pitcher Athanasia Totaro improved to 10-3, giving up four hits and seven walks for one earned run for Montclair.

“They had a specific game plan going in and pitched around certain people,” senior outfielder Kristen Zimmerman, who was walked four times in the game, said.

Donohue, who gave up seven hits and four earned runs in 3-1/3 innings of work, lost her second straight decision. “All four of their runs came off home runs,” she said. “I just threw a couple of bad pitches at the wrong time.”

In the second game, the Lions lost 11-2, as the Hawks jumped on Lions’ sophomore pitcher Jess Kohut scoring seven runs off seven hits in the top of the second inning.

The Lions held an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first as senior infielder Siobhan Scullin reached base on a double and came home on a Zimmerman RBI single.

Following the offensive outburst in the second, the Hawks tacked on two more runs in the fifth and sixth to push their lead to nine and put the eight run mercy rule into effect.

Kohut, who surrendered seven hits and seven earned runs with three strikeouts in 1-2/3 innings, took the loss. Totaro led the way for the Hawks going 3-for-4 with four RBIs. Scullin was 3-for-6 on the day for the Lions with two doubles and a run.

All-around consistency appears to be plaguing the Lions. “We have to find a way to play the games with consistent pitching, defense and hitting,” Miller said. “Right now we’re relying on talent and that’s not going to get it done.”

On Tuesday, the Lions split their doubleheader against conference rival Rowan University, winning the second game 1-0 behind a dominant start from Kohut. In their sole victory of the week, Kohut threw a four-hit complete game shutout with six strikeouts and retired the Profs in order to end the game.

The Lions were able to capitalize on two Rowan errors in the fifth to score the only run of the game when freshman pinch runner Tara Harrigan crossed home after reaching on an infield single.

In the first game, the Lions suffered a 5-2 loss in extra innings. The Profs scored three runs in the top of the decisive eighth inning on a two-run triple by junior outfielder Katie Lavin.

The game went back and forth until the end. The Lions enjoyed a 1-0 lead after three innings of play as Scullin connected on an RBI single to right field to score Venetucci. Rowan knotted the game at 1-1 in the top of the fifth on an RBI double by freshman infielder Kristin Wallace.

The Profs took a 2-1 lead into the seventh, but the Lions rallied to tie the game forcing an extra frame.

Kohut led off the bottom of the seventh with a double to the left center field gap. Donohue, who pinch ran for Kohut, came home on an RBI groundout by junior infielder Kelly Quigley.

Donohue, who gave up three earned runs on four hits with six strikeouts and a walk, took the loss to snap an 11-game win streak. Lavin led the Profs at the plate going 2-for-4 with a triple, two runs and two RBIs. Kohut was 2-for-3 with a double.

The Lions will travel to William Paterson University for a conference doubleheader on Saturday, followed by a doubleheader against Drew University on Sunday.