Brooklyn, N.Y.-Seniors Lauren Sulick (Canfield, Ohio, Canfield) and Jordan Barnett (Eads, Colo./Eads [Garden City C.C.]) took the mound for the Monmouth Hawks Saturday afternoon as they split their road series against the LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds. Sulick was attributed with the game one 2-1 loss, but Barnett picked up the win in the second contest with the Hawks coming out on top 8-2.
Monmouth’s record is now 28-14 and 13-5 in the Northeast Conference. LIU Brooklyn sits at 16-34 and 12-6 in conference play.
Senior Kate Kuzma (Freehold, N.J./Colts Neck) went 3-3 in the first contest and delivered a grand slam in the second outing. She went 1-3 with four RBI. Sophomore Vanessa Cardoza (Santa Ana, Calif./Ocean View) contributed to the Hawks’ game two win by going 3-4 with two runs and one RBI. Senior Kayla Weiser (Vandergrift, Pa./Kiski Area) also added MU run support by going 2-3 with two RBI in game two.
The first game saw the Blackbirds get on the board in the fourth inning. Karina Cervantes doubled down the left field line, and scored on back-to-back singles by Lauren Morizi and Nichole Toven. Senior Tish Derer (Philadelphia, Pa./Saint Basil Academy) scored the lone MU run in the fifth inning by getting on base with a single down the left field line. A groundout by Alicia DeSanto (Upper Darby, Pa./Upper Darby) advanced Derer to third, and she scored on a Weiser bunt.
LIU broke the tie in the bottom of the fifth, starting with a drawn walk by Celinna Cosio. A ground-rule double by Ariana Lopez sent Cosio to third, and she scored on a single by Cervantes, giving the Blackbirds the 2-1 advantage and the deciding game one score.
Barnett commanded the mound in game two, going five inning surrendering only six hits and two runs against 24 batters faced. Freshman Cerissa Rivera (Westminster, Calif./Fountain Valley) came in relief for the senior and maintained the lead by tallying two walks and one strikeout against eight batters over the final two frames.
Junior Kaitie Schumacher (San Diego, Calif./Scripps Ranch) began the MU scoring in the second game by doubling to left field and advancing to third on the throw. A single to the short stop by Cardoza brought her home and gave the Hawks the early advantage over LIU.
In the top of the fourth, singles by Cardoza, senior Christine Scherr (Nazareth, Pa./Nazareth Area) and junior Shannon Fitzgerald (Santa Clarita, Calif./Valencia) loaded the bases, then Kuzma blasted a grand slam over the left center wall, extending the shutout lead to 5-0 over the Blackbirds.
Monmouth continued the scoring run in the top of the fifth as Cardoza doubled to left center. Scherr walked, and then Fitzgerald bunted and reached on an error by the second baseman and advanced to second. This sent Cardoza to third, where she scored on an error, pushed Scherr to third, and gave the Hawks the 6-0 lead. Two batters later, Weiser delivered a single to right center and scored Fitzgerald and Scherr and pushed the MU shutout lead to eight.
LIU did not score until the bottom of the fifth when Cosio singled up the middle, and advanced to second on a walk by Cervantes. A Barnett wild pitch sent Cervantes to second and Cosio to third, where she scored on drawn walks by Morizi and Whitney West. A Toven single to left field scored Cervantes and gave the Blackbirds the second run; however, a fly-out to DeSanto and a groundout to Kayleena Flores (Atwater, Calif./Buhach Colony) ended the inning, giving Monmouth the split on the day.
The Hawks’ regular season concludes tomorrow afternoon with a doubleheader against St. Francis (Pa.) Sunday afternoon at noon. Monmouth will celebrate Senior Day, commemorating the six seniors who graduate this year.