Union, N.J. (5/7/17) – Senior Dana Knapp went 3-for-4 with two RBI while sophomore Cayleen Rizo also drove in a pair of runs as third-seeded Kean University captured the 2017 New Jersey Athletic Conference Softball championship with a 5-2 win over No. 5 seed Stockton University on Sunday.
The Cougars captured their third conference championship overall and first since winning back-to-back titles in 2010 and 2011. Kean (33-7) also earned the NJAC's automatic bid with the win and will learn their NCAA opponent and destination on Monday, May 8 when the entire field for the Division III Softball Championship is revealed at 1:00 pm on NCAA.com.
Fifth-seeded Stockton closed out the season at 24-20-1. The Ospreys reached the championship round following a thrilling 7-6 come-from-behind win over top-seeded Ramapo earlier in the day.
Kean struck quickly with four straight hits to open the game. Rizo singled back through the middle scoring Caroline Ratti and Emily Sabo with the first two runs. Knapp followed with a long single off the center field wall to make the score 3-0.
Knapp added to the lead in the third inning with another long single off the wall in center plating Sabo, who registered a base hit with one out and later stole second. Stockton countered with two runs in the bottom of the inning. Alexa Massa singled into the center for the first run and Alexandra Cosenzo doubled off the wall in left cutting the deficit to 4-2. The Ospreys had a chance to get closer but Kean gunned down a runner at the plate to end the inning.
A wild pitch in the fifth inning allowed Sabo to score from third base as Kean extended its lead to 5-2.
Senior Shannon McMahon got the victory improving her record to 22-2. McMahon scattered 10 hits, struck out and did not walk a batter. Sophomore Victoria Torp (11-9) took the loss for Stockton.
Sabo finished 2-for-3 with three runs scored for Kean in addition to making several outstanding plays in the field.
Massa, Holly Arentowicz and Cosenzo had two hits apiece for the Ospreys.