Offense breaks out as Lions reel off nine straight wins

The week’s been a blast for the Lions softball team, as it won a total of nine games in eight days.

The blast came from the offensive outburst in which the Lions swatted a total of 85 hits in the past week.

On Saturday, New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) action was in play when the Lions beat the Scarlet Raiders of Rutgers University-Newark in a two-game series.

Early on, the Lions were down 1-0 but quickly regained control after scoring four runs in the top of the third. The offense was powered by junior Vicki Blevins and junior Kristin Boyer, who each had three hits.

“Boyer coming back was huge,” head coach Sally Miller said. “We are offensively attacking more.”

Junior Jen Hughes tripled and then scored when the Scarlet Raiders made an error.

“It is important to take advantage of the errors they make,” Miller said. “Jen has made a couple adjustments and she knows she can do it.”

After that hit the damage was done. Senior Laura Prevete singled to make it 10-1. Senior Kristin Meister batted in Boyer for the last run of the game. The Lions crushed the Scarlet Raiders 11-1. In the NJAC standings the Lions improve to 2-0 while Rutgers-Newark fell to 0-2.

During the second game, the hits were still coming in as Boyer came up to the plate and knocked in junior Julianne Lajiness.

The Scarlet Raiders came back as junior Kate Schrumpf scored off of senior Katie Wheelan’s single. But the Lions turned on the gas and junior Tara Harrigan and sophomore Christina Lizzi combined for two doubles and four runs. Junior pitcher Heather Hoffman earned her sixth win of the season.

In non-conference action on Wednesday, the Lions downed the Mules of Muhlenberg 2-0. The Lions were coming off a strong two-game upset of No. 2-ranked Salisbury University.

“When you have an important piece of the puzzle down, you never know how your team is going to react,” Miller said.

During the first game, Hughes came up to blast a solo home run and then in the sixth hit a sacrifice fly that brought Lajiness home.

“Hughes is an extremely good ball player,” added Miller. “Defensively she is an absolute threat.”

Freshman Carlyn Perrotty and junior Erin Cusmano each added two hits.

“Cusmano is attacking the ball,” Miller said. “We need to continue attacking and tracking the ball.”

In game two, the Mules wouldn’t let the Lions have it so easy. It took eight innings to harness the Mules. Prevete was the hero of the game with a hit that brought in two runs in the eighth.

“There has been a lot of growth offensively this season. Everyone has been working hard all winter and continues to work to make their adjustments,” Prevete said.

“It is finally starting to show how hard everyone has been working,” she added.

Junior starting pitcher Jess Kohut was struck by a line drive in the seventh and had to leave the game after allowing one unearned run. Lajiness came in for the save.

“When Kohut went down the team sent a message, you can’t stay upset,” Miller said. “They picked it up for Jess.”

Blevins and Cusmano added two hits and together the pair had a combined 14 hits in six games.

The weekend concluded with a fireworks show of home runs as the Lions swept Drew University. Hughes had a major impact in game one as she hit two home runs, including a grand slam to help the Lions win 14-2. She had an impressive game with six RBI and two runs.

Making her debut from being sidelined, Boyer contributed with a home run and Lizzi knocked one out too. That might have been the finale but the show opened up with Harrigan lighting it up for three hits and two RBI.

Lajiness earned the win and allowed only two hits and struck out five. On the season she has a record of 6-1.

In game two the Lions were powered by their pitching, as Hoffman put another shutout in the books. Hoffman is now an impressive 7-1.

But it was Hughes who once again came up to the plate with yet another home run on her way to a 4-4 day. The game was clinched as the Lions pulled through, scoring five runs in the fifth.

The Lions hope to continue their offensive dominance when they take on Haverford College at home on Thursday at 3 p.m.