It was a streaky performance from Montclair State in the Rebel Spring Games as they spent spring break in Kissimmee, Fla. to open up the season.
Montclair State opened up the season with wins against Defiance College and Beloit College on the first day of the trip and out-scoring its opponents 11-5. With eight of its 11 runs coming in the first three innings of the game, the Red Hawks made early statements to jump out to a 2-0 record to begin the season.
That would swiftly end as the Red Hawks suffered two devastating losses to Bluffton College and Penn State Altoona. Against Bluffton, who came into the game at 1-1, Montclair State sat on a 4-0 lead going into the bottom of the seventh inning. A five-run Bluffton onslaught handed Montclair State their first loss of the season.
During the second game of the day against Penn State Altoona (2-3), the teams held each other at bay for the entire game until Jenna Myers scored for Penn State in the eighth inning. Montclair State could not make their chances pay in the bottom half of the inning and fell to a record of 2-2 going into day three.
After a day off, the Red Hawks returned to action against the Rhodes College Lynx. NJAC Softball Rookie Player of the Week Blake Saperstein tied the game at two for the Red Hawks after the Lynx smashed a two-run home run the inning before. Ultimately, the Lynx would score two more in the next inning to secure the 4-2 win. Starter Nicole Majewski fell to 1-1 with the loss.
Their second game of the day against Penn State Berks (3-2) fared much better for Montclair State as junior Sam Keating pitched a two-hit shutout and pushed her record to 1-1 on the season. The Red Hawks ultimately won 3-0 to bring their record back to .500.
The Red Hawks opened their second-to-last game at the Rebel Spring Games against 0-2 St. Joseph’s in Long Island. Four combined runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings proved to be enough as freshmen Courtney Politz and Kiara Ruiz combined to allow only four hits in the 4-2 win. Politz improved her record to 2-1, while Ruiz secured her first save of the season.
The Red Hawks would yet again return to .500 in the second game against 1-5 Muskingum University. The Red Hawks took a brief lead in the third inning through Saperstein. Muskingum would rattle off nine runs in the following half-inning to put the game firmly out of reach. Keating ended up only pitching 2.1 innings, but allowed nine runs and dropped to 1-2 on the season. After the 11-3 loss, Montclair State entered the final day at 4-4.
After allowing four runs in the first inning to Bridgewater College (3-7), Montclair State tied the game in the fifth with three runs, including another RBI for Saperstein. The game would eventually go into extra innings and Bridgewater put up three runs in the top half of the inning to put the Red Hawks in hot water. Montclair State would muster up two runs, but fell short of the tying run and fell to 4-5 going into their final game in Florida.
Against Cornell College, the Red Hawks won their fifth game of the season as Saperstein drove in four more runs in Montclair State’s 8-6 win.
The Red Hawks were supposed to resume their season on March 16 with a doubleheader against Drew University at Montclair State’s Softball Stadium, but the recent snow storm postponed the action. There has been no reschedule date. They will play their last non-conference road games in Staten Island, N.Y. as they take on College of Staten Island in another doubleheader match-up on March 19 as they resume the season.