By Malcolm Luck
After the rain washed away a doubleheader against William Paterson University, the Lions returned to the diamond in Glassboro, New Jersey against Rowan University on April 10.
Rowan, ranked No. 21 in the nation according to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association head coaches poll, battled the Lions in low-scoring affairs, beginning with a pitcher’s duel in the first game.
Rowan’s sophomore pitcher/outfielder Jesse DeDomenico went up against the College’s ace, freshman pitcher/infielder Alanna Namit. Offensive action didn’t ensue until the third inning when the Lions posted the game’s first run. Following back-to-back singles by junior outfielder Gaby Bennett and sophomore infielder/outfielder Annalise Suitovsky, a sacrifice bunt advanced them to second and third. Senior outfielder Madison Levine got Bennett to home plate with an RBI groundout to take the early 1-0 lead.
Rowan retaliated in the bottom of the third inning with a two-run homerun to take a 2-1 lead. The Lions then countered with RBI singles by sophomore infielder Megan Mayernik and junior catcher Jess McGuire in the fifth and seventh. On the mound, Namit secured her eighth victory with six strikeouts as the Lions won, 3-2.
The second game of the doubleheader proved to be a tougher offensive challenge for the Lions, as they only managed to put up one run. Bennett stroked an RBI single in the fourth to put her team on the scoreboard, but Rowan bounced back in the bottom half of the fourth with an RBI single.
Just one inning later, Rowan tacked on two additional insurance runs to take the 3-1 lead. The Lions couldn’t muster a good scoring opportunity for the remainder of the game as Rowan’s sophomore pitcher Lauren Shannon held on for the complete game win.
On a bright, sunny day at Dr. June Walker Field, the College flashed their offensive ability in the first game of its doubleheader against Ramapo College on Saturday, April 14. In the fourth inning, the Lions put up three runs beginning with McGuire’s RBI double to right, scoring Bennett in the process. Suitovsky knocked in two more with her single to right center to give the team a 3-0 lead.
In the top of the sixth, Ramapo assembled its best scoring opportunity. After senior pitcher Christina Brizek knocked in two runs with a single, Ramapo was poised to add more with runners on the corners and no outs.
In a high-pressure situation, Namit came in for freshman pitcher Eliza Sweet to induce three outs and limit the damage. The College added five runs in the bottom of the sixth to enforce the mercy rule and end the game in six innings.
All seven innings were needed in the second game against Ramapo. Freshman infielder Lauren Conroy knocked in the first run of the game in the first inning, scoring Mayernik. Sophomore outfielder Helena Coppola added one more in the sixth inning with an RBI hit-by-pitch. The Lions didn’t need an extra insurance run, as senior pitcher Sam Platt went the distance, only allowing one hit in a complete game shutout, giving the Lions a 2-0 win to sweep the doubleheader.
With the team only one victory away from reaching the 20-win mark, the Lions head up to Union, New Jersey for a conference doubleheader against Kean University on Saturday, April 21.