The Montclair State University Red Hawks softball team continued their dominance against the College of Mount Saint Vincent Dolphins in their doubleheader winning 8-0 and 9-1. The Red Hawks extended their winning streak to seven, moving their record to 9-3.
During the first game, the Red Hawks set the tempo in the bottom of the second inning after a single by junior pitcher Valentina Cucci scored sophomore shortstop Amber Powers. Senior catcher Lia Stamile drove a home run to right center bringing the score to 2-0. Later in that inning, after sophomore second baseman, Taylor Brown advanced to second base by stealing. Powers drove her home with a two-run shot to center field.
In the bottom of the third inning, Stamile’s outstanding play proceeded by driving a single to right field, helping junior third baseman Elena Radesich score. Afterward, Brown pushed the lead to six with a triple, bringing Stamile home.
Heading into the bottom of the sixth, the Red Hawks scored two more runs from junior Kaylee Powers doubled to left field, as Brown scored from third base and Amber Powers moved to third. Subsequently, Cucci singled to left field as Amber Powers scored. The first game concluded as soon as Amber Powers ran to home base.
The Red Hawks sustained the momentum in the second game. At the bottom of the second inning, junior left fielder Blake Saperstein hit a home run to give the Red Hawks the first lead of the second game.
Through the bottom of the third, the Red Hawks went on an offensive bang by scoring five runs to put the lead to six. With bases loaded, Radesich walked on five pitches. Saperstein, Brown and senior right fielder Samantha DiClimenti each hit singles to bring in the other four runs.
Around the fourth inning, the Red Hawks moved the lead to seven after a home run from Amber Powers. She felt good coming into the game. It was their home opener, so the energy helped.
“I was extremely excited after I hit my home runs because I never got a home run on our home field until those two games,” Powers said. “All my ones last season were during an away game, so it was really amazing to experience that on our home field. I was really happy to have helped my team and raise our score.”
After the Dolphins scored in the fifth inning, the Red Hawks scored two more runs to end the inning and game. While Saperstein was at third, she ran home as Brown grounded out. Then, after senior Ali Walek grounded out, sophomore Adriana Garcia ran home as a pinch runner. Ultimately, Red Hawks would grab the victory.
Powers also talked about the Red Hawks’ seventh consecutive winning streak and how it has to do with their energy and drive to win.
“Even during the pregame, we try to stay as loose as possible by joking around or dancing in the locker room, so we don’t think about the nerves or get too hard on ourselves,” Powers said. “Being on a team that always helps each other and having a team and coaching staff that brings out the best possible player in you is what really helps.”
Brown also discussed her team’s success over the last seven games.
“We really put in a lot of effort to have the success this season,” Brown said. “I feel very confident in our team, and everyone is doing their role on the team.”