KISSIMMEE, Fla. (3/7/17) – Senior pitcher Shannon McMahon tossed a no-hitter and was an error away from a perfect game to highlight another sweep for the Kean University softball team at the Rebel Spring Games in Florida on Tuesday.
Kean downed Defiance 4-0 before mercy-ruling Bridgewater College 11-0 in five innings. Taryn DiGiacomo earned the shutout in game two for the Cougars.
Game One vs. Defiance College
McMahon (pictured left) needed just 24 pitches to get through three perfect innings against the Yellowjackets, putting her defense to work by striking out just one batter in the contest.
The South Plainfield native was still perfect in the top of the fifth. With a 2-2 count, she looked like she caught the batter looking on the inside corner, but it was called a ball. On the payoff pitch, Keri Hupp sent a long line drive toward the centerfield fence, but Dana Knapp ran it down and made the catch with her back to home plate to preserve the perfecto.
Kean had scored the only run McMahon would need in the first inning on a sac fly by Cayleen Rizo that plated leadoff hitter Caroline Ratti. Then in the bottom of the fourth, Rizo (pictured right) scored on a sac fly by Jacqueline Riley after beginning the frame with a double.
Kean's final two runs came around to score on an error with two outs in the sixth. With the extra cushion, McMahon got the Yellowjackets to go 1-2-3 in the seventh to cement the no-hitter.
It is the eighth no-hitter in Kean softball history, but only the fifth one to require the full seven innings to be played. This also marks the fifth no-hitter Kean pitchers have thrown in the past six seasons.
McMahon, the two-time reigning NJAC Pitcher of the Week, got 13 flyouts, seven groundouts and one K in her masterpiece. It was her second shutout of the season.
Game Two vs. Bridgewater
Kean raced out to a 6-0 lead after two innings against the Eagles, and tacked on five runs in the fifth to force an early end to the game.
Rizo went 3-for-4 with five RBI's in the game, and Ratti went 3-for-4 with three runs scored.
With Kean up 6-0 in the fifth and a runner on first, Riley hammered a line drive down the line in right. The Eagle rightfielder made a dive for it, but missed and the ball rolled all the way to the corner. Riley raced around the bases and slid in for an inside-the-park home run, the first homer of her collegiate career.
Meanwhile, freshman and two-time reigning NJAC Rookie Pitcher of the Week Taryn DiGiacomo was cruising. She scattered four hits and struck out four to earn her third shutout in four collegiate outings.
The team's 8-0 start is believed to be the best start in school-history. Kean's pitchers have a combined ERA of 0.42 and the Cougars have outscored their opponents 57-3 so far this season.
Kean will have another early morning tomorrow with games against Penn State - Altoona and St. Joseph's of Long Island beginning at 9:15 a.m.