It was a disappointing week for the Lions as they lost their doubleheader against the Profs of Rowan University on April 18. The loss drops the Lions to .500 and ties them for sixth in the NJAC.
During the first game, the Lions battled hard as junior pitcher Julianne Lajiness took the mound and struck out five. Lajiness pitched six innings and allowed just five hits in the 1-0 loss.
The Lions’ effort was not enough as they ran into arguably the best pitcher in the conference, Prof senior Colleen Oswalt. Oswalt pitched a complete game, allowing only four hits to go along with four strikeouts to gain her eighth shutout of the season.
Oswalt would go on to win the second game of the doubleheader and improve her record to 24-1 on the season.
“(Lajiness) pitched a good game,” head coach Sally Miller said. “We were just off balance.”
The lone run came in the bottom of the sixth as junior Jen Lake got on base after drawing a walk. Lake was then replaced by a pinch runner, senior Jen Blair.
Junior Kim Ryan moved Blair into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt. Senior Casey Bartolf had the winning RBI when she singled to bring in Blair.
“We hit the ball, but not timely,” Miller said. “We had a lot of opportunities.”
Oswalt continued pitching for the Profs in game two, as she went seven innings and earned her 24th win of the season with a 12-5 victory.
The Profs exploded offensively with 15 hits. Freshman Kristine Brenner was 4-for-5 with two RBI.
The Lions’ offense started out strong but ran out of power. Junior outfielder Jen Hughes went 2-for-4 at the plate with two doubles and an RBI.
Sophomore outfielder Christina Lizzi was 2-for-3 and junior infielder Vicki Blevins chipped in two hits.
“We would get people on base but we couldn’t find ways to bring them around,” junior third baseman Tara Harrigan said. “We didn’t bring our best in the second game and it showed.”
Junior pitcher Heather Hoffman got roughed up on the mound for the Lions in two innings. She gave up eight hits and eight runs before senior pitcher Kelly Quigley came in for relief.
“We are still a really good ball club,” Miller said. “But in these last games we need consistent pitching, hitting and defense.”
The Lions now have an overall record of 23-11 and are 6-6 in the NJAC. With two conference games remaining on their schedule, the Lions will fight for their playoff lives this week, as only the top six teams qualify for the conference tournament.
“It puts two more losses on our record and bumps us down in the NJAC, but as far as how we feel about it, we shouldn’t have lost those games,” Harrigan said. “And it’s only going to make us play harder to regain what is rightfully ours in the NJAC.”