Lions Split Six-Game Stretch

Junior pitcher Julianne Lajiness pitched two complete game wins, including a shutout against Ursinus College on Thursday.

The College traveled to Ursinus and walked away with the doubleheader split. Senior pitcher/infielder Jess Kohut’s double to score freshman infielder Allyson Walsh in the top of the sixth inning was the only scoring needed as the Lions took the 1-0 win in the first game. Lajiness recorded the complete game shutout, scattering four hits while striking out six.

The Bears won the second game 4-2 on a big fourth inning. The College’s senior infielder Tara Harrigan tripled and scored on freshman Danielle Hagel’s groundout in the top of the fourth, but the Bears tapped the Lions for four runs in the bottom of the same inning. Senior outfielder Jen Hughes got one of the runs back in the sixth with an RBI single, but the Lions could not figure out Bears rookie pitcher Lauren Davis long enough to rally. Freshman Ashley Minervini fanned three batters in her six innings, and only one of the Bears’ four runs was earned. Davis went the distance, striking out seven Lions while allowing only three hits.

The Lions stumbled against No. 12 Ramapo in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) opener on Saturday.

The Roadrunners broke open a 1-1 tie to win the first game 5-1 before taking the nightcap 7-4. The Lions scored first on an RBI single up the middle by senior outfielder Katie Davenport in the third inning. Ramapo tied it up in the bottom of the fourth inning and knocked the College for four more runs in the fifth. Lajiness took the loss on the mound, falling to 6-1 on the season.

The Roadrunners broke the second game open in the bottom of the first to take a 5-0 lead and added another run in the second. Freshman infielder Rachel Greeby crushed her first collegiate home run – a two-run shot to center – to put the Lions on the scoreboard. They crossed the plate two more times in the fourth inning to close the gap to 6-4 on several Ramapo miscues. Hughes scored on a passed ball and Greeby scored on an error. Minervini suffered the loss to drop to 4-3. Senior Heather Hoffman pitched six innings of relief and allowed only two runs the rest of the way.

The College earned the doubleheader sweep over visiting Muhlenberg College on Wednesday, as it never trailed to take the first game 5-1 before rallying for the 8-5 win in the nightcap. The Mules stand at 4-12 overall.

Davenport fired a two-run home run to center – the first of her career – to put the Lions on the board in the bottom of the second inning. Sophomore utility player Taylor Cianciatta crossed the plate on a wild pitch in the bottom of the fifth to push the lead to three runs before the Mules got one back in the top of the sixth.

Kohut and junior catcher Lauren Musacchia knocked run-scoring base hits in the bottom of the sixth to tack on two more runs and the Lions quickly shut down the Mules in the seventh for the final score. Lajiness hurled a complete game, allowing only three hits and striking out nine batters.

Hughes launched a three-run shot to center to put the Lions up 3-0 in the first inning of the second game, but the Mules offense woke up and crossed the plate four times in the top of the second inning. Mules senior outfielder Hilary Marinchak hit a bases-clearing triple, and Muhlenberg tacked on one more run that inning. The Mules added another in the third inning to take a 5-3 lead.

Hagel singled in Davenport in the bottom of the third to make it a one-run game before a big sixth inning propelled the Lions to the come-from-behind win. Davenport drove in two runs to put the College ahead for good and a Muhlenberg error let two more Lions cross the plate for the 8-5 final score.

Minervini pitched 4-2/3 innings of scoreless relief and was credited with the win. She also tied a career high with eight strikeouts.

The Lions are 10-6 overall and 0-2 in the NJAC, as of press time.

The College hosts Kean University in NJAC action on Saturday at 1 p.m.