UNION, N.J. (4/18/17) – The No. 14 Kean University softball team took down Rutgers-Newark 4-0 and 5-1 in an NJAC sweep at home on Tuesday. The Cougars improved to 23-5 on the year and 8-4 in the NJAC.
Emily Sabo rocketed a triple off the rightfield wall with two outs in the third, but other than that both team's bats were quiet in the early-going.
Kean starter Shannon McMahon retired eight in a row at one point and earned eight assists on comebackers after five-and-a-half innings. But she was matched zero-for-zero by Newark's Kelly Yusko, who carried a shutout of her own into the sixth inning.
In the home half of the sixth, Sabo (pictured left) started the game's only rally with an exhilarating inside-the-park-homerun to the wall in left-centerfield. Two Scarlet Raiders dove for the ball but neither could grab it. By the time they recovered, Kean's all-time stolen base leader was rounding third and heading for home. It was a wonderful time for her first homer of the season.
In the seventh, McMahon earned two more assists on grounders up the middle, giving her a whopping 10 in the game, the most for any Cougar in a game this year at any position. She allowed just one runner past second base, scattered five hits, struck out two and did not walk a batter to earn shutout No. 5 and win No. 13 on the season.
Cougar hurler Taryn DiGiacomo was nearly as impressive in game two for the Cougars. She made just one mistake – a solo homer by Morgan Schweitzer – but other than that she also blanked the Scarlet Raiders over her seven innings of work. She struck out three, allowed just three hits and stranded runners on third base in three different innings. The rookie earned her 10th victory of the year.
In the first inning, Caroline Ratti set a Kean single-season record with her 24th stolen base of the season. She added two more in the game, and the record now stands at 26 and counting.
Offensively, Amanda Berezny tied the game after Kean had fallen behind 1-0 with an RBI single through the left side in the second inning. The Cougars added three runs in the third with the help of three Raider errors and a 2-RBI single by Dana Knapp to take a 4-1 lead.
Pinch-hitter Sara Vocisano tacked on the final run of the day with an infield single in the fifth to score Knapp. DiGiacomo also had two hits on the day for Kean in addition to earning the game two win.
The Cougars will remain home to host Lebanon Valley College in the final non-conference games of the season beginning at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday.