- Category: Volume 87 (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)
- Published: 06 April 2016
- Written by PETER LAZZARO | CONTRIBUTING WRITER
The MU softball team defeated its hOURglass rivals, Rider, in back-to-back games on Saturday afternoon at MU Softball Park.
Both games ended in mercy-rule finishes in the 5th inning, as the Hawks were able to tally nine and 11 runs in each game respectively without letting up a single run in either. Senior catcher Jill Freese hit two home runs and had three RBI. Sophomore utility Katie Baron also homered, doubled twice and had three RBI for the offense of the Hawks.
MU pitchers Amanda Riley and Sydney Underhill each had complete game shutouts, with strikeout totals of ten and six respectively. Riley’s 10 K’s were good for a career-high as a Hawk, MU is now 13-11 (2-0 MAAC), as Rider falls to 3-21 (0-2 MAAC).
Baron finished the day 4-4, scoring every time she got on base. Sophomore outfielder Chloe Howerth, junior outfielder Justene Reyes, sophomore pitcher Amanda Riley, senior third baseman Ashalynn Umiamak, and Freese stacked up three hits each. Riley hit a homer, doubled twice, drove in three RBI and scored three runs. Reyes hit two doubles and scored twice, and senior utility Emma Hill had an RBI triple and scored three runs. Junior infielder Rachel Shotzbarger also drove in three runs with a bases-clearing double.
In game one, Riley struck out 10 out of 17 batters she faced. She let up one hit, and one hit-by-pitch in a complete game shutout. In the latter contest, Underhill allowed five hits and a walk in her outing, striking out six.
“It was great to come out in our first MAAC series and take two,” MU head coach Shannon Salsburg said. “It really sets the tone for what we need to do throughout the entire conference season.”
MU jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning of game one. Hill walked, followed by a Howerth single, and Shotzbarger loaded the bases with a base hit to left. Reyes followed up with a sacrifice fly down the right field line to score Hill, then Umiamaka singled to right to bring in Howerth and Shotzbarger.
In the second, Baron led off with a single through the left side, which led to her scoring as a result of Hill’s triple to right. On the play to third, the ball went over the Rider dugout allowing Hill to come in to score, making it 5-0 in favor of MU.
Freese led off in the bottom of the third with a home run down the left-field line, and Riley followed suit and took one out to the opposite field.
Riley got on with a double in the 5th, which set up Baron’s walk-off two-run homer to right.
“I think we did a good job,” Riley said. “A lot of us were aggressive at the plate and fielded well as well. It was a good start to our season and we should keep it at that level and to even improve.”
In the second game, the Hawks went up 10 runs in the bottom of the second inning alone. Reyes and Umiamaka each singled, but after the Hawks recorded the next two outs. Then Riley doubled bringing in two, and Baron doubled to bring home Riley.
Hill walked and Howerth singled to load the bases for Shotzbarger. Her double to deep center brought three more around to make it 6-0 Hawks. A Reyes double then extended the lead to 7-0, before Umiamaka singled to bring her home, making it 8-0.
Freese then touched them all for the second time of the day, driving a deep ball to right center to bring MU to a 10-0 lead after two.
Baron doubled in the third, took third on a groundout and scored off of Howerth’s two-out infield single to make it 11-0. Underhill had more than enough breathing room to work with, as she struck out the side in the second and third innings and faced no more than four batters in any of her five innings pitched.
“It was a good way to start our season and get our first conference sweep of the year,” Baron said. “Now it just gets us ready for our next conference game which is Wednesday against Iona.”
The Hawks will play their next game on Wednesday, Apr. 5, with a doubleheader at Iona. First pitch is scheduled for noon.
PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth Athletics