By Malcolm Luck
Losing just doesn’t sit well with the Lions. After falling to Kean University 4-3 on April 21, the College rattled off four consecutive wins against conference opponents to end the regular season with authority.
The Lions claimed the first pair of victories in a dominating doubleheader display against New Jersey City University on April 24 at Dr. June Walker Field. Freshman starting pitcher Alanna Namit began the game in her usual commanding fashion, striking out seven of the first nine batters she faced.
After being held scoreless for the first two innings, the Lions struck first in the bottom of the third. With two outs and no runners on base, sophomore infielder Megan Mayernik struck a single to left field that ignited a two-out rally. Senior outfielder Madison Levine laced an RBI double to left center one batter later. Junior outfielder Gaby Bennett followed with a run-scoring error and another RBI single to cap off a three-run inning. Namit responded by striking out the side in the top of the fourth inning.
Extra-base hits put the game out of reach in the bottom half of the inning. Sophomore infielder/outfielder Annalise Suitovsky doubled to left field to score the fourth run for the Lions while a pair of triples from Mayernik and freshman infielder Lauren Conroy ended up being the dagger that extended the lead to 7-0. The College scored their eighth run in the bottom of the fifth, enforcing the mercy rule and ending the game two innings early, 8-0.
The Lions showed no mercy for NJCU in the back end of the doubleheader, resulting in another 8-0 victory. The College hung four runs on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth with a plethora of sharp base hits. Levine sent an RBI triple to right field, bringing home Suitovsky for the first run of the game. After an RBI single by Conroy, Bennett tripled to right center and eventually scored after sophomore outfielder Helena Coppola smacked an RBI double to right.
Coppola added a run-scoring triple to right field in her next plate appearance and scored on an RBI infield single. For the second consecutive game, the College scored its eighth run in the fifth inning to end the game early.
At home against Montclair State University, the Lions struck early and often, posting five runs in the first three innings of the game. Conroy got the College started with an RBI single up the middle in the first. Suitovsky added a two-run double an inning later, followed by a two-run single by junior catcher Jess McGuire in the third.
The offense was more than enough for Namit who pitched all six innings for the Lions while collecting seven strikeouts, only allowing three hits. With this performance, Namit finishes the regular season with no losses, posting a 14-0 record. The Lions added three more in the bottom of the sixth to capture their third consecutive 8-0 victory.
The last game of the regular season was no different from the others. Explosive offense and stingy pitching proved to carry the Lions to another victory, this time resulting in a 6-1 victory. Levine and Conroy collected RBIs in the first inning.
The College didn’t score again until the bottom of the fourth following McGuire’s sacrifice fly and Mayernik’s RBI single. The Lions added insurance runs in the fifth and sixth innings. Despite allowing a run in the top of the seventh, senior pitcher Sam Platt held on for her ninth win of the season.
Next up for the Lions are the New Jersey Athletic Conference playoffs, where the top-seeded Lions look to bring home a conference title.