As the season is winding down, the Lions’ softball team has been facing tougher and tougher competition, this week being one of the hardest for the committed team. Coming off of their first loss in a few weeks, the team was ready to begin winning again, but so were the other teams they faced.
This week, the Lions first took on Rowan University in NJAC play in what would end up being two losses for the Lions’ record. In the first game, freshman pitcher Ashtin Helmer took the mound and gave up only two earned runs, bringing her season record to a still impressive 13-2.
Rowan pitcher, LeAnne Miller, deftly silenced the Lions’ offense, allowing only senior second baseman Ashley Sogluizzo’s single in the second inning and two walks throughout the entire game. It was rare to see the Lions’ offense in such a position, and they would fall victim to the same fate in the second game. They lost the first game 4-0.
In the second game, junior pitcher Alex Carisone was on the mound for the Lions. Rowan immediately put a run on the board in the first inning and added another four in the fifth inning.
The Lions were not completely silenced. In the bottom of the sixth, junior shortstop Kristen Lake and freshman outfielder Kristen Fitzsimmons both scored from an error in the outfield.
Lake led the team in their offense this game, going 3-for-3, while senior outfielder Liz Huttner had a pair of hits as well. The College had a total of nine hits, but fell short to Rowan in a 5-2 loss. These losses bumped the College to third place in the NJAC.
On Saturday, April 20, the Lions took on New Jersey City University in what would turn out to be a better outcome than earlier in the week. In the first game, Helmer took the mound again and allowed only two unearned runs, as in the previous game. She also struck out six but could not hold them off in a 4-3 loss.
The Lions had scored in the fourth inning when freshman pinch runner Jackie Oram scored from an error by the opponents. In the final inning, the College was down 3-1 when Sogluizzo scored on a single from Huttner. Senior third baseman Kelly Hommen then sent home Fitzsimmons to tie the score at 3-3.
However, the Gothic Knights took the lead back on a sacrifice fly to win the game.
The next game against the Gothic Knights proved to be more in the Lions’ favor. After the opponents scored in the first inning, the Lions put runs on the board when freshman shortstop Steph Vuono and freshman left fielder Christine Desiderio both singled.
The runs then kept coming. Freshman catcher Jamie Purcell hit her first collegiate home run for a two-run shot to boost the Lions’ score even more. Carisone was on the mound again for the Lions and had an outstanding outing. She allowed only that first run in the first inning and struck out six as the Lions dominated the Gothic Knights 11-1.
“This is huge, especially with our freshmen, who are a huge part of our success,” Oram said when asked about confidence build-up from game to game. “We are having fun during the games and really have become a family. That is probably the biggest part of our success thus far.”
This coming week, the Lions take on Rutgers-Newark on Tuesday, April 23 and William Paterson University on Saturday, April 27.