Lions swat Hornets

Timely hitting and solid pitching led the softball team to a 5-1 record over spring break. The Lions traveled to the College of Staten Island for its season opener before traveling to Salem, Va., for the Ferrum Invitational.

The Lions wrapped up Spring Break on Sunday with a doubleheader sweep of the Shenandoah University Hornets and hosted the Ferrum College Panthers. A four-run rally in the bottom of the fifth erased a 4-1 deficit while senior pitcher Julianne Lajiness pitched one shutout inning in relief to seal a 5-4 victory over Shenandoah in the first game.

Senior Jen Hughes belted a three-run home run in the second inning to lead the Lions over the Panthers 5-0 in the nightcap. Hughes also knocked out two doubles in her 3-for-3 performance at the plate. Lajiness held Ferrum to only two hits while striking out four.

The College split its games on Saturday, as it came from behind to beat the Wasps of Emory & Henry College 3-2 before dropping an 8-3 decision to the La Roche College Redhawks. Freshman utility player Danielle Hagel’s two-run double in the sixth was the winning hit as the Lions held on for the 3-2 score. Lajiness registered a complete game and struck out eight.

The Lions shut out the College of Staten Island in the season opener on March 13. Hagel led off the top of the third with a solo home run that proved to be the game-winning hit in the Lions’ 1-0 win. The shot off the scoreboard in left field was also Hagel’s first collegiate at-bat. Lajiness was spectacular on the mound, hurling a no-hitter through six innings. She fanned five while giving up only one walk.

Lajiness earned New Jersey Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Week honors after pitching 22 scoreless innings for a 3-0 record with one save.

The Lions put on a hitting clinic against the Dolphins in the second game, as they pounded out 16 hits in the 14-3 win. Hagel singled in two runs to get the scoring started in the top of the second inning. A Staten Island error followed by junior Christina Lizzi’s triple pushed the score to 4-0. The score went to 6-0 in the third before the Dolphins put three unearned runs on the board to cut the lead. That was the closest they got, as the Lions posted a seven-run sixth inning on four straight run-scoring doubles.

Freshman infielder Allyson Walsh knocked out her first collegiate hit – a two-run double – to spark the seventh inning explosion. Hughes belted out two doubles in the inning to go 2-for-3 in the game. Lizzi was a home run shy of the cycle with two RBIs. Hagel shined in the second game as well with a 4-for-5 performance with four RBIs. Minervini threw three innings of scoreless relief to pick up her first collegiate win.

The Lions return to action today at Ursinus College at 2:30 p.m. They return to Ewing on Saturday to host Haverford College at 11 a.m. and the University of Rochester at 1 p.m.