Softball springs to top of conference

By Malcolm Luck
Staff Writer

Following the conclusion of the Sunkissed Games in Plant City, Florida, the Lions returned home to take on DeSales University and Ramapo College in a pair of doubleheaders. In the four games, the Lions outscored their opinions by a tally of 30-2 and propelled themselves to the top of the New Jersey Athletic Conference standings.

Conroy rips the bat through a single hit (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk).

The first doubleheader came against DeSales University on March 27. Sophomore starting pitcher Alanna Namit took the mound in the first game for the Lions and put forth a dominating performance, hurling a no-hitter while striking out 10 batters. Namit now sits at 6-2 on the season.

The Lions’ offense shelled DeSales’ starting pitcher for four runs and nine hits, chasing her from the game after just three innings of work. Sophomore infielder Lauren Conroy laced RBI singles in the first and third innings to provide her team with an early source of offense. Later in the third inning, she would come around to score on an RBI double from junior infielder Megan Mayernik. The College would add another run in the third and two more in the fifth, eventually winning by the final score of 6-0. DeSales found a weak pulse at the plate in the second game of the doubleheader, but had no answer for the Lions’ offensive attack.

Already up 4-1 after the top of the fourth inning, a six-run rampage proved to be too much for DeSales’ lifeless bats. Sophomore outfielder Katie Winchock knocked in the fifth run on a fielder’s choice. Conroy followed by pulling a two-run single through the right side of the infield. A two-run single from senior outfielder Gaby Bennett and an RBI single from sophomore infielder Elyse Nardozza brought the Lions’ total tally to 10 runs. Sophomore pitcher Eliza Sweet allowed just one run on the mound, as the team went on to win 10-1 in five innings.

In the team’s first NJAC game of the season, the Lions took on Ramapo College in Mahwah, New Jersey on Saturday, March 30. The College wasted no time getting the game’s first runs on the board, as it took advantage of Ramapo’s deficient defense. Mayernik scored on a throwing error Bennett laced an RBI single to right center four batters later to bring home senior catcher Jess McGuire. The Lions wouldn’t strike again until the fifth inning. Despite the first two batters getting out to begin the frame, McGuire’s two-out single set the table for a two-run home run by sophomore outfielder Kaitlin Kocinski to put her team up 4-0. The insurance proved to be a moot point, as Sweet once again went the distance and surrendered just two hits over her complete game shutout.

Momentum was carried into the second game of the doubleheader, as the Lions won by a score of 10-1 for the second time in four days. In the first inning, despite only posting two hits in the frame, the Lions drew five walks –– three of which scored runs for the club. Ramapo’s starting pitcher couldn’t escape the first inning, as she allowed five runs while only recording two outs.

The rest of the runs came in the second inning, as Conroy got things started by reaching on a throwing error. Following a sacrifice fly and a line out from the next two batters, Bennett doubled to left-center. Junior infielder Annalise Suitovsky then walked and two runs would come in to score on another throwing error. Mayernik tacked on the ninth and 10th runs with a two-run single to right field. Before Ramapo came to bat in the second inning, they found themselves in an insurmountable 10-0 hole. The game ended after just five innings due to the mercy rule.

The Lions will take the field in a doubleheader against Kean University on the road on Saturday, April 6.

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