By Malcolm Luck
Ending its season on a seven-game winning streak, the softball team is poised for a deep postseason run boasting a 17-1 conference record at the end of the season. Sitting at the top of its conference, the College will serve as the host site for the New Jersey Athletic Conference tournament.
A trio of doubleheaders against NJAC opponents closed out the regular season for the Lions, beginning with the University of Rutgers-Newark on April 23. This also served as the club’s senior day, which recognized the outstanding Lions that are looking to contribute to a national championship at the end of this season.
Among them, senior catcher Jess McGuire showed out, going 3 for 3 at the plate while collecting an RBI. McGuire accounted for half of the Lions’ hits in a game that lacked significant offensive output for the Lions.
Sophomore pitcher Eliza Sweet started for the Lions, surrendering just one run over five innings. Sophomore pitcher Alanna Namit came in relief and earned her first save of the season in a 4-1 win.
Just a few minutes later, Namit assumed her regular starting pitching role and dominated Rutgers-Newark, as she hurled seven shutout innings while collecting 12 strikeouts.
Namit allowed just one hit in the top of the second inning before she retired 18 consecutive batters to end the game. Ultimately, the Lions would win by the final score of 5-0, defeating Rutgers-Newark for the 13th time in their last 14 games against the team.
On Thursday, April 25, the Lions hit the road to take on New Jersey City University in a makeup doubleheader from five days prior. The College won both games by the mercy rule, winning the first and second games by the final scores of 13-0 and 20-3, respectively.
The bulk of the offense in the first game came in the fifth and final inning, as the Lions led off the frame with five consecutive hits.
An RBI double from sophomore outfielder Katie Winchock scored the first run, followed by an RBI single and a two-run double from sophomore outfielder Allie Immerso and sophomore infielder Lauren Conroy.
An RBI double from junior infielder Annalise Suitovsky and an RBI single from Gaby Bennett closed out scoring for the game in an offensive explosion. Namit earned the win on the mound.
The Lions relentlessly turned around and put up 20 runs and 18 hits in the next game with 16 runs coming from the second and third innings. Conroy and Bennett nearly mirrored each other at the plate, both going 3 for 4 with four RBIs each. Each player also homered in the game, with Conroy’s coming in the third and Bennett’s in the fourth. Sweet earned the win in the shortened game, allowing just two runs over five innings of work in the lopsided victory over NJCU.
The season’s final games were held on the road against William Paterson University on Saturday, April 27. The first game of the doubleheader began as a pitcher’s duel, as the Lions found themselves up 2-1 entering the top of the sixth frame. The Lions would tack on four insurance runs to secure the win.
Suitovsky’s one-out RBI single would score the first run of the inning. Sophomore infielder Elyse Nardozza laced a single through the right side to plate a pair. Immerso responded with an RBI infield single to give the Lions a 6-1 lead, which would ultimately hold as the final score. Namit went on to win her 14th game of the season in a 15 strikeout performance.
The Lions would go on to win their final regular season game by a score of 11-3. Conroy led the team in hits and RBIs with three each, as Sweet earned her 13th win of the season.