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Softball Pushing for the Tournament

by Kevin Saez
Freshman Alana Luna hits homerun during 4/18 game.

Freshman Alana Luna hits homerun during 4/18 game.
Photo credit: Montclair State Athletics

The Montclair State softball team saw their six-game winning streak come to an end last week, just when it appeared that they had hit their stride. Montclair State is 13-17 overall and 5-9 in the New Jersey Athletic Conference. Montclair State is in seventh place in the NJAC and are two games out of sixth place, which is the final qualifying spot for the 2015 NJAC Softball Tournament.

The Red Hawks began their week hosting a doubleheader against Rutgers-Newark on Tuesday, April 14. Montclair State won the first contest 12-8 thanks to an offensive outburst.Sophomore outfielder Lauren Guillen went three for three, with four runs scored and two RBIs. Senior captain and infielder Melany Zeller also had three hits and drove in three runs.

Junior captain and pitcher/outfielder Brooke Powers was two for three, with three RBIs and two runs scored. Freshman infielder Noel Hodgins had two hits and scored twice. Senior infielder Melissa Rustemeyer made an impact with a two-run home run. Powers pitched the entire contest and scored the win. She allowed eight runs (five earned), six hits and three walks.

In the second game, Montclair State played one of their stronger games all year and came out victorious by a score of 5-1. Powers had a great outing, giving up only one run and eight hits while striking out four. Senior infielder Brianna Davidson had the big blow, a three-run homerun to pace Montclair State’s offense. Powers and Hodgins each had two hits, with one of Powers knocks driving in an RBI.

The Red Hawks welcomed Manhattanville College to the MSU Softball Stadium on Thursday, April 16 for a two-game series. Montclair State fell behind early but rallied in the middle of the game and came out on top in the end 10-5. Hodgins led all players with three hits and three runs scored. Davidson and Guillen both had two hits each and combined for six RBIs together. Powers had a solid game at the plate, with one hit that drove in two RBIs and two runs scored. Powers threw a complete game and surrendered five runs on seven hits, walked three and struck out five.

The second contest of the doubleheader was closer, but Montclair State prevailed 5-4. Powers stayed hot at the plate, with two hits, one RBI and one run scored. Freshman catcher Tina Ciacciarelli had one hit that drove in two key RBIs. Rustemeyer and Zeller each added an RBI and Guillen scored two runs in the winning effort. Powers pitched well and allowed only four runs (two earned), seven hits and two walks. She struck out four while pitching another complete game.

Last Saturday, April 18, the Red Hawks traveled to Ramapo College for an NJAC doubleheader. Montclair State played tough in game one, but fell a run short, losing 4-3. Powers kept up her solid hitting, notching two hits and an RBI. Freshman infielder Alana Luna delivered a two-run bomb to keep Montclair State in striking distance. Powers let up six walks, six hits and four runs. This snapped the Red Hawks season-high six-game winning streak.

The second match was a defensive struggle, but the Roadrunners defeated Montclair State 3-0. Powers surrendered eight hits and three runs while striking out four. Her pitching record fell to 11-13 on the year. Guillen finished the game with two hits and a walk. Zeller, Luna, Hodgins and sophomore outfielder Jenna Mancini all had one hit.

This week, MSU will host The College of New Jersey in a doubleheader on Tuesday, April 21 in what will be Montclair State’s regular season home finale. The game times are set for 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. The seniors to be honored are outfielder Sam Camacho, infielder Brianna Davidson, infielder Rustemeyer and captain/infielder Zeller.

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