Softball sweeps NJCU as Miller wins 500th

Stanley had two wins against Muhlenberg in an 8-1 victory. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)
Stanley had two wins against Muhlenberg in an 8-1 victory.
(Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)

The softball team staged an impressive turnaround mid-week as they rallied for a pair of victories over New Jersey City University, their first wins in the NJAC.

The week began for the Lions (8-18, 2-12) with a doubleheader against Rowan University, in which the Lions came up just short both times.

Rowan took the first game 3-1, scoring first with two runs in the first inning and one more in the fourth, establishing a 3-0 lead.

The Lions refused to be shut out, though. In the seventh inning, freshman infielder Jessica Kennick hit her third homerun of the season to narrow the gap.

Senior pitcher Alex Carisone was on the mound for the Lions with another impressive outing and was able to quickly recover from the first inning.

In the next game, the Lions came even closer but still fell 2-1 in nine innings.

Sophomore pitcher Ashton Helmer took the mound for the College and pitched a stellar game, with a no-hitter through full six innings. With 11 strikeouts, Helmer had had one of the best games of her career.

The game was held at 0-0 through nine innings until sophomore outfielder Christine Desiderio scored for the Lions on a single from sophomore catcher Jamie Purcell. Rowan scored in the bottom of the inning on a two-run single, clinching the win.

When the Lions faced NJCU later in the week, though, it was a different story, as they came out stronger than ever before.

“Our coach Sally Miller said to us, ‘Adversity shows true colors,’ and this is something that sticks with me every day,” Desiderio said. “We’ve learned the importance of picking yourself up when you’re down to never give up.”

They easily took the first game in a season-high victory of 13-1, exhibiting some of the best play seen all season. 

The Lions started out well with two runs in the first inning, beginning with an RBI single from Purcell, and more came in the next few innings thanks to a sacrifice fly from sophomore utility player Deanna Utter, an RBI double from senior infielder Lindsay Williams and two more hits from Purcell.

In the next game against New Jersey City University, the Lions dominated again for a 6-4 victory to give coach Sally Miller her 500th career win with the program.

The Lions put some runs on the board early again when Utter sent home the first runner and Williams added another RBI.

Desiderio then sent home another run with a base hit, while freshman infielder Colleen Phelan was also hot at the plate.

“This season has taught us that sometimes there are more important things to focus on than just the ‘W column,’” Desiderio said.

This week, the Lions will take on Rutgers-Newark on Tuesday, April 22, and William Paterson University on Saturday, April 26.

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