HAMDEN, Conn. – Alicia DeSanto (Upper Darby, Pa./Upper Darby) went 3-for-6 with three runs and three RBI’s as the Monmouth University softball team split at Quinnipiac, defeating the Bobcats, 14-4, in Game 1 before falling in a walk-off, 6-5, in Game 2. With the split, the Hawks move to 14-17 (6-6 MAAC), while the Bobcats are now 9-30 (5-9 MAAC).
Kayleena Flores (Atwater, Calif./Buhach Colony) added a 3-for-7 effort with a double, a triple, four RBI’s and a run scored. Vanessa Cardoza (Santa Ana, Calif./Ocean View) chipped in with three hits, including a double, and two RBI’s. Nikki Sandelier (Turnersville, N.J./Washington Township) contributed two hits and three runs scored. Raelynn Galindo (Yorba Linda, Calif./Yorba Linda) also had two hits and two RBI’s, while Rachel Shotzbarger (Saugus, Calif./Saugus) scored twice. Shannon Fitzgerald (Santa Clarita, Calif./Valencia) scored a team-high four runs on the day.
Sydney Underhill (Temecula, Calif./Chaparral) took both decisions in the circle, allowing just two hits in 3.1 innings pitched in Game 1, before allowing Quinnipiac six runs, five earned, in Game 2. She struck out three in 9.2 innings.
The Hawks erupted for 10 runs in the top of the 1st of Game 1. A walk, a single and a hit-by-pitch in the first four batters loaded the bases with one out before Shotzbarger drew a walk to force in the first run of the game. Flores then tripled down the right field line to clear the bases, giving Monmouth a 4-0 lead. Flores scored on a passed ball, before a walk, a single and an error reloaded the bases. DeSanto’s infield single scored one, while Cardoza’s double scored two more. Following a pitching change, Shotzbarger hit a two-run single to right to make it 10-0.
Monmouth struck for another four runs in the 4th. Sandelier reached on a two-base error to lead off the inning. She advanced to third on a flyout before scoring on Howard’s infield single to make it 11-0. The barrage continued with two outs when Kaitie Schumacher (San Diego, Cailf./Scripps Ranch) singled home Lauren Howard (Orange, Calif./Foothill), Shotzbarger reached on an error and Galindo hit a two-run single through the right side to make it 14-0.
The Bobcats got four runs in the bottom of the fifth, but Underhill reentered in the circle for the final out to preserve the five-inning mercy rule victory.
In Game 2, the Hawks immediately struck for two 1st inning runs. Fitzgerald led off with a walk, and Justene Reyes (Carson, Calif./Warren) followed with a two-out RBI single. Flores then doubled to right center to score Reyes. The Bobcats responded with a single, an error and another single to cut the deficit in half, 2-1, in the bottom of the 1st. They’d add an unearned run in the 2nd to draw even at 2-2 after two innings.
The Hawks broke the tie in the top of the 4th on DeSanto’s two-run double to right center, scoring Sandelier and Fitzgerald to give Monmouth a 4-2 lead. In the 5th, DeSanto and Cardoza reached on a walk and a single, respectively, before moving to second and third on a wild pitch with no one out. Reyes then grounded out, scoring DeSanto to give Monmouth a 5-2 lead.
But the Bobcats scored four runs in the bottom of the 7th to walk off with the Game 2 victory, 6-5. Nikki Barba led off the inning with a home run to left to cut the Hawks’ lead to 5-3. Abby Johnson walked and took second on a wild pitch, before scoring on a Jordan Paolucci single. Brittney Cyr pinch ran for Paolucci and advanced to second on a groundout. Cyr scored on a Lindsley single up the middle. Lindsley then scored on Paige Giunta’s game-winning double to left center.
The Hawks return to action Wednesday when they play host to Pennsylvania. First pitch of the single game is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.