Softball Wins Three of Four, Sweeps Rival FDU

The softball team went 3-1 last week, splitting with Villanova and sweeping a Northeast Conference (NEC) double-header against Farleigh Dickinson.

The Hawks (16-14, 7-5) are in fifth place in the NEC. They are two games behind the conference leader, Robert Morris. Monmouth also trails Long Island University – Brooklyn, Quinnipiac and Central Connecticut State.

MU defeated their conference rival 6-5 in the first game and 8-0 in game two. Monmouth never trailed in either game.

“These were very big wins for us. We control where we want to be at the end of the season, so if we just go out and take care of our business and not worry about anything else, that’s all we can do,” said head coach Louie Berndt. “We need to focus on one NEC game at a time and do what we did against FDU. Everyone needs to focus on their job and their job only and get it done. When we do that you saw against FDU the outcome that we can produce.”

Kate Kuzma led the team over the Knights (23-14, 5-7) with five RBI’s. She went three for eight with a double, triple and homerun. Kuzma also caught both games.

“I think Kate Kuzma did an outstanding job of calling both games. It’s mentally challenging to catch back-to-back games and then to call them on top of that. I think Kate yesterday played her best ball games and I hope she continues to play as she did because we are so much stronger when our battery is on and they were on yesterday,” said Berndt. “Kuzma made a play with two outs and threw out the tying run at third base to end the game.”

Alissa Schoelkopf (6-2) was the winning pitcher in game one. She pitched the entire game, allowing five hits and five runs, only one of which was earned. She struck out two and walked two.

“Alissa was up in game one 6-1 in the bottom of the seventh before we started falling apart in that game,” said Berndt. “She continued to do her job and we just didn’t play behind her.”

Lauren Sulick (9-5) won the second game for the Hawks. She threw a complete game, three-hit shutout. She walked three and struck out three.

“Lauren and Alissa both did a great job. I have been saying all along that our team needs to start in the circle with winning ball games and both pitchers really did a great job for us yesterday,” said Berndt. “Both Lauren and Alissa just mixed the ball and hit their spots and when our pitching staff takes care of business we are a pretty good ball club.”

Monmouth laced 27 hits in the double-header against the Knights. Kaitie Schumacher led the team with five hits.

“The offense was patient when they needed to be and to be honest they were all just in the zone,” said Berndt. “They all did a great job of just hitting the ball hard and making great contact.”

Christine Scherr tallied four hits, including a home run. Freshman Vanessa Cardoza had three hits, as did Kayleena Flores.

Sulick was the losing pitcher in game one against Villanova. She allowed eight runs, four earned, in three innings of work. The Hawks lost 9-2.

Schoelkopf defeated Villanova in the second game 5-1. She pitched the entire game, allowing one run on 10 hits.

The Hawks are on the road all this week. Wednesday, April 18 they travel to Philadelphia for a double-header against Temple. They return to NEC play over the weekend with double-headers against Bryant and Central Connecticut State.

Monmouth has eight conference games remaining on their schedule. Four of these games are against teams ahead of them in the standings.

PHOTO COURTESY of MU Photography