Softball Rebound Spring Break

Softball Looks to Rebound After Spring Break

The softball team competed in two tournaments over spring break, playing 13 games over a 10 day span in the Under Armour Showcase and the Clearwater Parks & Rec/Michele Smith Spring Break Invitational in Clearwater, FL.

The team won four games including a shutout win against Army on Wednesday, Mar. 15. This was the second game of a doubleheader for the Hawks, who dropped the first game to Indiana State, 6-5.

Senior left-handed pitcher Sydney Underhill threw all seven innings against Army, allowing seven hits and striking out three. She threw 138 pitches and 81 strikes. Senior first baseman Justene Reyes and junior outfielder Katie Baron each drove in two runs. Barron and freshman shortstop Deangie Jimenez recorded two hits in the win.

Reyes was also successful at the plate against Indiana State, going 3-for-3 with a two-run home run that gave Monmouth a 4-2 lead in the fifth inning. But junior right-hander Amanda Riley allowed four runs in the sixth inning, giving the Sycamores a lead they would not relinquish. Junior catcher Alex Holzman also homered, a two-run shot in the first to give the blue and white a 2-0 lead at the time.

“We played and won 13 innings today. When we play 14, we will be a dangerous team,” Monmouth Head Coach Shannon Salsburg said. “It was great to see a lot of different people step up today. Sydney pitched outstanding and did a great job of working out of jams. We continue to focus on us and being better in all facets of the game.”

The blue and white picked up two more victories on Friday, Mar. 17 sweeping a doubleheader from Tennessee at Chattanooga (9-6) and Bethune-Cookman (9-8).

Senior shortstop Rachel Shotzbarger led the way against Chattanooga, going 3-for-4 with three runs batted in and a run scored. She drove in two in the first with a double that gave Monmouth a 2-0 lead and drove in her third run with a single in the third, with the Hawks down 4-3.

Monmouth re-took the lead in the fourth on a two-run homer by Reyes. Jimenez (2-for-3, 2 RBI) led off the inning with a single and scored on a single by junior third baseman Morgan Balderas, which set up Reyes’ long ball. The Hawks extended their lead to 8-4 with a Jimenez two-run double in the fifth and they scored their ninth run on a single by freshman first baseman Kayla Rosado in the sixth, scoring sophomore infielder Nicole Wieczorek.

The Hawks had an offensive explosion against Bethune-Cookman, scoring six runs in the fourth inning. Jimenez picked up an RBI on a successful squeeze bunt, Baron drove in a run with a sacrifice fly, junior outfielder Chloe Howerth hit an RBI triple, and Holzman added an RBI single. Monmouth scored three runs off Bethune-Cookman errors in the contest. Jimenez went 5-for-7 with three RBI, three runs, and two doubles in the two games.

“I couldn’t be more proud of our team,” Salsburg said. “We got offensive production from one through nine and kept attacking throughout both games. Our pitchers did a great job of getting outs and we had some stellar defensive plays.”

Monmouth downed Yale on Saturday, Mar. 18 in the first game of a doubleheader. The Hawks were trailing 4-1 in the sixth inning when Shotzbarger came up with the bases loaded and belted a grand slam to left that propelled the Hawks to a 5-4 victory, their third straight. The tem dropped the second game 7-6 to North Florida despite a six-run fifth inning that saw them take a 6-3 lead.

“I am proud of our grit today. We found ways to push runs across and get outs when we needed it,” Salsburg said. “While we are disappointed in the split, there is no doubt we are trending in the right direction. We have started playing together and for each other, and those two things have impacted us greatly.”

The Hawks are now 6-14 on the season and they return to action today as they travel to Stony Brook, NY to take on Stony Brook in a doubleheader. First pitch for game one is slated for 2 p.m.

PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth Athletics