Softball Drops Pair of One-Run Decisions to #15 Montclair State
LITTLE FALLS, N.J. (4/17/12) – The Kean University softball team dropped a pair of one-run decisions to #15 Montclair State University, 1-0 and 5-4, in a New Jersey Athletic Conference doubleheader on Tuesday afternoon.
Sophomore Alex Hill picked up both complete game victories and had a total of 16 strikeouts to keep the Red Hawks (30-3, 11-1 NJAC) atop the NJAC standings. Kean rookie Courtney Yard went the distance in both games, scattering 10 hits and seven strikeouts between the two games for the Cougars (19-13, 8-4 NJAC).
GAME ONE: Cougars Fall, 1-0, in Opener Despite Four-Hitter by Yard
The 2011 NJAC Pitcher of the Year and Rookie of the Year, Alex Hill allowed just two hits and drove in the game’s only run to lift the Red Hawks to the 1-0 win in the opener.
In the bottom of the first inning, centerfielder Shannon Mozek led off with a single and moved over to second base on the sacrifice bunt, where she would score on the RBI single to right-center by Hill two batters later for the game’s lone run.
The rest of the way, Hill was locked in a scoreless pitcher’s duel with Kean freshman right-hander Courtney Yard, as each allowed only two hits the rest of the way.
Hill closed out the win by recording her 10th strikeout of the game, as Kean had the tying run in scoring position.
Yard allowed just four hits total in the game and had four strikeouts.
GAME TWO: Montclair State Holds on for 5-4 Victory
Montclair State scored four runs in the fourth inning to erase a 1-0 deficit and scored what proved to be the game-winning run an inning later to complete the sweep with the 5-4 win.
Alex Hill allowed just one earned run and struck out six in the victory.
The Cougars took a 1-0 lead in the third inning, as senior shortstop Alicia Banz was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and would move over to third base following the sacrifice bunt by freshman Maria Scopellito and single by Katie Schuh. Two batters later, sophomore left fielder Sandra Binkiewicz was also hit by a pitch to load the bases, setting up the bases loaded walk to sophomore first baseman Kelly Moorehead for the 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Shannon Mozek led off with a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch, before moving over to third base on the infield single by Jamie Paulino. Third baseman Dana Amato followed with a one-run double to right field and two batters later, first baseman Alisha Cumberton had a two-run double to give the Red Hawks the lead, 3-1. Cumberton would later score on the RBI groundout by Katie Muglia after moving over to third base on a wild pitch, giving Montclair State the 4-1 lead.
An inning later, the Red Hawks scored the critical insurance run, as right fielder Stephanie Szeliga had a one-out double and scored on the single by Mozek.
The Cougars pulled to within 5-4 with three runs in the sixth inning following a pair of Red Hawk errors that allowed two runners on, as Banz (pictured left) had a two-run triple and would score on the sacrifice fly by Scopellito.
Kean was unable to get the tying run aboard in the top of the seventh inning, as Hill retired the side to win her 19th game of the season.
Banz was 1-of-3 with two RBI and two runs scored. Yard (14-8) scattered six hits and three strikeouts in the loss.
The Cougars host St. Joseph’s College (LI) on Thursday, April 19, in a non-conference doubleheader at 3:30 p.m.