Lions dominate at Sunkissed Games

By Malcolm Luck
Staff Writer

While a majority of the College’s campus benefitted from a spring break, the softball team took advantage of a trip to Lakeland and Spring City, Florida, where it won nine of its 10 games after a shaky 2-4 start to the season.

The Lions now sit at 11-5, good for fourth in the New Jersey Athletic Conference standings.

A trio of doubleheaders on March 16, 17 and 19 against Babson College, New York University and Stevens University yielded consecutive sweeps for the Lions. They earned six straight wins to start their hot streak. In these victories, the College outscored its opponents 50-10 in large part due to dominant pitching and timely hitting.

Sweet winds up to pitch during the team’s eight-game winning streak (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk).

Reliable pitching and hitting was also the name of the game against Oswego State on Thursday, March 21, as the Lions secured a 9-0 win in five innings.

The offense exploded for six runs in the bottom of the third beginning with an RBI infield single from junior outfielder Helena Coppola.

Following a run-scoring wild pitch, sophomore catcher Marissa Devincenzo scorched a two-run single down the left field line. Sophomore outfielder Allie Immerso followed with an RBI double of her own before sophomore infielder Lauren Conroy knocked in the frame’s sixth run with a sacrifice fly.

Sophomore starting pitcher Alanna Namit mowed down Oswego’s lineup, striking out seven batters in four innings. She earned the victory and improved her record to 5-2 on the season.

Shortly following the game’s last out, the Lions faced Messiah College in what would be the team’s second and final contest of the day.

Messiah posted an early run in the bottom of the first but the College would respond with five unanswered runs to support sophomore starting pitcher Eliza Sweet’s commanding performance.

The Lions took the lead in the top of the third after junior infielder Megan Mayernik led off the inning with a walk. Senior outfielder Gaby Bennett tied the game with a sacrifice fly and Conroy put her team on top with an RBI single to left center.

Conroy’s RBI walk and senior catcher Jess McGuire’s two-run single in the top of the seventh extended the lead to four. Ultimately, four runs were more than enough insurance for Sweet, as she struck out seven batters in her complete game performance.

Sweet winds up to pitch during the team’s eight game win-streak. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)The lone loss at the Sunkissed Games would come in the team’s first match on Friday, March 22. Sophomore outfielder Kaitlin Kocinski was the sole source of offense for the Lions against NYU, as a pair of doubles scored two in the second inning and one in the fourth.

However, NYU tagged freshman pitcher Tori Aguilar for eight hits and five earned runs in her five innings pitched. In the end, the College fell by a score of 8-3, halting its winning streak at eight games.

Luckily for the Lions, their final game in Florida against Oswego paralleled the same result as it did just one day prior. The College breezed past Oswego by a score of 9-0.

McGuire sent a two-run single to left center to open scoring in the first inning. In the third, Conroy’s two-run triple to right and Mayernik’s RBI single to left added three more. Bennett joined in on the scoring in the fourth, as she contributed an RBI double down the left field line.

She would come in to score on Conroy’s two-out RBI single three batters later before freshman infielder Camryn Davies added an RBI single of her own.

Sweet went on to pitch her second complete game in two days, sending the Lions back home with newfound confidence.

The softball team’s next two games will be a doubleheader at home today at 2:30 p.m. against DeSales University.

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