Helmer tosses second no-hitter of season

This week seemed to test the College’s softball team more than any other week so far this season. Going into the games this week, the team knew it was going to take their best effort to beat their opponents, and they were ready for the challenge. Especially ready was freshman pitcher Ashtin Helmer, who notched her second no-hitter of the season.

Helmer is dominant. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)

Their first games of the week came against Rutgers University-Camden on Tuesday, April 9, in which the College was able to dominate both games. In the first, it was Helmer who propelled the team to victory with her second no-hitter of the season. It’s always been said that softball is all about the pitching, and when a team has a pitcher like Helmer, it really is.

Helmer took the mound and allowed only one baserunner to reach second base while striking out four batters. This was her 12th straight victory so far this season. Her ERA is now a mind-blowing 0.96, unheard of on many teams.

While Helmer was taking charge of the mound, the team had her back with stellar offense to make the final score 8-0. The first runs were scored when senior right fielder Michelle Casale scored on a bunt from senior third baseman Kelly Hommen. Junior shortstop Kristen Lake was also able to send home freshman left fielder Christine Desiderio which doubled the score.

A three-run homerun from junior designated hitter Nicole Brodbeck gave the Lions the rest of their runs, capping the game out at eight.

In the second game against Rutgers-Camden, the Scarlet Knights took the early lead, scoring two runs before the end of the first inning. However, once the Lions had their turn at the plate, those two runs were not going to be unanswered.

Senior center fielder Liz Huttner started it off by singling and then scoring on a single from Hommen. In the bottom of the fourth inning, the College really came alive and scored five runs. Senior left fielder Ashley Sogluizzo brought home two runs with a double while Casale also doubled.

By the time the fifth inning rolled around, the Lions were still at it, scoring another three runs. Hommen brought home two more runs and finished the game with three RBI. Helmer, who had come into the game as relief, grabbed the 9-2 victory over Rutgers-Camden.

In the second set of games this week, the Lions battled hard, but unfortunately fell to Montclair State University on Saturday. While both games went into extra innings, the No. 1 ranked Montclair State came out on top.

In the first, the Lions and Red Hawks battled it out, going completely scoreless until the ninth inning. It was a pitcher’s duel from the start and neither team was relinquishing a run easily. The Lions were the first ones to score in the game when freshman catcher Jamie Purcell doubled and sent home junior outfielder Corinne Minicozzi.

In the bottom of the ninth however, the Red Hawks scored two runs on a homerun, which won them the game. This was Helmer’s first loss of the season, but she was still extremely dominant on the mound, striking out seven.

In the second game, it was mostly the same story. Junior Alex Carisone was on the mound for the Lions.  It was another pitcher’s duel up until the sixth inning when Purcell sent Minicozzi home again. The Red Hawks also scored this inning, and took the lead 2-1.

Despite the losses, the Lions are still playing strong and are in great shape for the last few games of the season. They take on Rowan University on Tuesday, April 16 at 3 and 5 p.m. and New Jersey City University this Saturday, April 20 at 1 and 3 p.m.