Emmitsburg, Md.-The Monmouth University softball team swept a Northeast Conference doubleheader at Mount St. Mary’s on Saturday afternoon, topping the Mountaineers 16-3 in game one, and rallying for a 7-3 victory in game two. The Hawks, who are now 26-13 overall, improve to 12-4 in NEC play, as seniors Lauren Sulick (Canfield, Ohio/Canfield) and Jordan Barnett (Eads, Colo./Eads [Garden City C.C.]) each tossed complete game victories for Monmouth.
Sulick earned the win in game one to improve to 9-5 on the year, surrendering one earned run on six hits with five strikeouts.
Monmouth’s offense, which pounded out 16 runs on 14 hits, was paced by freshman Raelynn Galindo (Yorba Linda, Calif./Yorba Linda), who tallied a grand slam in the seventh inning and Vanessa Cardoza (Santa Ana, Calif./Ocean View), who each drove in four runs. Sophomore Kayleena Flores (Atwater, Calif./Buhach Colony) went 3-4 with three runs and an RBI, while juniors Kaitie Schumacher (San Diego, Calif./Scripps Ranch) went 2-4 with one run and two RBI and Alicia DeSanto (Upper Darby, Pa./Upper Darby) added three runs and two RBI.
The Hawks erupted for five runs in the third inning when Flores scored on a sacrifice fly by senior Tish Derer (Philadelphia, Pa./Saint Basil Academy), while Schumacher notched a run-scoring single and Cardoza homered to right center, giving Monmouth a 5-0 lead.
In the top of the fifth, MU pushed its lead to 7-0, when DeSanto scored on a Schumacher sacrifice fly, and a Cardoza single scored Kayla Weiser (Vandergrift, Pa./Kiski Area).
After the Mount got a run back in the bottom of the fifth, the Hawks tacked on two more runs in the top of the sixth as Derer notched a run-scoring single, and DeSanto’s groundout scored Shannon Fitzgerald (Santa Clarita, Calif./Valencia) and gave Monmouth the 9-1 lead.
MSM got on the board once again in the bottom of the inning after loading the bases with three singles, before a fielder’s choice groundout accounted for the 9-2 score.
The Hawks put the lead further out of reach in the top of the seventh, as Monmouth tallied seven runs on four hits, as Galindo’s first homer of the year, a grand slam, highlighted the frame. In the inning, Flores added an RBI single, while Derer and DeSanto each drew bases loaded walks.
Barnett threw Monmouth’s second complete game of the day in game two for the win, surrendering two runs on five hits, with a pair of strikeouts, to move to 9-4 on the year.
Weiser went 3-4 with two runs and two RBI, and Christine Scherr (Nazareth, Pa./Nazareth Area) went 2-4 with one RBI. DeSanto went 2-3 with one run in the contest, and Cardoza went 1-3 with one run and two RBI.
The Mountaineers grabbed an early 2-0 lead on solo home runs in the first and second frames, as Liz Christiansen notched her solo shot with two out in the bottom of the first, and Kelly Hickman tallied a one-out solo homer in the bottom of the second.
Monmouth answered with a five-run third inning to take a 5-2 lead, as the Hawks loaded the bases in front of a Weiser two-run single to right, and Cardoza’s RBI single to center, which put the Hawks in front 3-2. MU extended its lead to three runs on a double by senior Kate Kuzma (Freehold, N.J./Colts Neck) to right center, which scored Cardoza and Weiser.
In the top of the fifth inning, Weiser hit a leadoff double, which was followed up by a Schumacher single. Weiser advanced to third on the single, and then scored on a Cardoza flyout, giving the Hawks the 6-2 lead. Scherr doubled to left center and scored Schumacher from first, giving Monmouth the 7-2 lead.
MSM generated a run in the bottom of the seventh, as Rachel Gavigan’s double scored Bre Lohman, accounting for the final tally of 7-3.
The Mountaineers fall to 13-29 on the year and 4-12 in conference play.
Monmouth returns to action on Thursday, April 25, when the Hawks travel to in-state foe Rutgers at 3:30 p.m. Monmouth closes out the season with NEC games at LIU Brooklyn on Saturday, April 27, which will be followed by the season’s last home series against Saint Francis on Sunday, April 28 at noon, Monmouth’s Senior Day, commemorating the six seniors on the team.