Lions prevail under tight NJAC schedule

By Miguel Gonzalez
Sports Assistant

The Lions’s softball team won three of its four New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) games this past week. On Wednesday, April 6, the Lions endured a 12-2 loss against the Rowan University Profs before snatching a 7-5 victory in the second game of the day.

Later, on Sunday, April 10, the Lions swept the New Jersey City University Gothic Knights, 5-1 and 9-1, respectively.

Freshman outfielder Gabby Bennett scores six RBIs against the Gothic Knights.
Freshman outfielder Gabby Bennett scores six RBIs against the Gothic Knights. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)

For the week of Sunday, April 3, freshman outfielder Gaby Bennett was named the College’s student athlete of the week for her consistent hitting during the Lions’s victory against the Cabrini College Cavaliers and the William Paterson University Pioneers.

“Bennett covers a lot of ground,” head coach Sally Miller said. “She’s a good ball player and a good example of a freshman transitioning from high school softball. She stepped it up ever since the Florida trip.”

On the road in Glassboro, N.J., the Lions were overwhelmed by the Profs’s constant hits in a 12-2 loss. In the subsequent match, the Lions sprang to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning when freshman infielder/outfielder Jess Santelli landed home on a single.

The Profs quickly responded with two runs when sophomore catcher Mia Baldassari scored from a single. In the top of the second inning, senior infielder Steph Vuono extended the College’s lead to 5-2 when she blasted a solo home run. The Lions were able to hold their lead and secure the victory despite the Prof’s three run rally in the bottom of the seventh inning.

“We struggled on the mound (in the first game). They were a good team. They could hit and pitch,” Miller said. “The team jumped out with the hits first in the second game and forced the Profs to make errors.”

On Sunday, the Lions jousted the Gothic Knights, 5-1 and 9-1.

Sophomore pitcher Sam Platt earns her 10th win this season. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)
Sophomore pitcher Sam Platt earns her 10th win this season. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)

Sophomore pitcher Sam Platt limited the Knights to four hits and one run towards her 10th victory of the season. Meanwhile, the Lions’s offense supported the victory with eight hits and quick base running. 

The Lions then proceeded to dismiss the Gothic Knights in a five-inning 9-1 rout. The Lions had a shaky start when Gothic Knight Freshman shortstop Hannah Gavin reached home plate on a wild pitch. After the mishap, the Lions never looked backed — senior pitcher Ashtin Helmer held the Knights to only two hits while the College’s offense pounded the Gothic Knight’s defense.

In regards to the nationwide appreciation of student-athletes during the NCAA Division III week from Monday, April 4, through Sunday, April 10, Miller emphasized the vital relationship between coaches and players.

“It’s hard for both coaches and players,” Miller said. “Every player has many academic responsibilities: internships, labs, exams. Right now, it’s clutch time for every player. Most (of) the players were in the library on Saturday when the game got rained out. If you are not academically responsible, then you can’t be athletically responsible. I try to be as flexible as I can with them through individual practices. It’s not easy.”

The Lions stay on the road this week with a conference game against Rutgers University-Camden’s Scarlet Raptors on Tuesday, April 12. Later, on Saturday, April 16, the Lions travel to Newark, N.J., for a doubleheader against the Rutgers University-Newark Scarlet Raiders.