Softball returned home from a strong weekend at the George Mason Cherry Blossom Classic in Fairfax, VA, where they won three out of their four games and outscored their opponents twelve to eight.
In an unexpected turn of events, their first game of the set against Marshall on Friday was called prematurely in the fifth inning due to snow. The lone run of the game came in the first inning when the Thundering Herd scored on a sacrifice ground out, leading to the 1-0 victory.
Despite the loss, it was a strong effort from sophomore pitcher Alyssa Irons, who went all five innings giving up just the one run on three hits.
“Our team handled the elements and Alyssa pitched well, but we just simply could not get a run,” said Head Coach Shannon Salsburg. “I’m hopeful the weather will move through and we can get back out there tomorrow.”
That is exactly what happened as the Hawks never looked back from there, going undefeated the rest of the weekend in improved weather.
The Blue and White topped tournament host George Mason 4-2 on Saturday thanks to solid offensive efforts from their juniors.
Shortstop Sam Tomasetti and third baseman Amber Wozniak each had RBI singles in the fifth inning to give Monmouth the 4-2 lead that they held onto for the rest of the game. Another junior, first baseman Kayla Rosado also had an RBI double in the first to get the Hawks on the scoreboard.
Freshman Lindsey Baron made her mark on the game with a double, a walk, and two runs scored in the win.
“Offensively, I couldn’t have been prouder of our team,” said Salsburg. “It was the first time this year that every time the opponent scored, we answered in the next inning.”
Monmouth kept the momentum rolling into Sunday’s doubleheader including a rematch with Marshall and a tournament finale against Lafayette.
The Hawks got off to quick offensive start this time against Marshall thanks to Rosado, who had RBI singles in the first and third, driving in three runs to give Monmouth a 3-0 lead.
Irons went the distance this time, and after giving up two runs in the fourth inning, she eventually settled in and secured the Blue and White’s lead.
Junior second baseman Deangie Jimenez added an insurance run in the sixth to make it a two-run advantage which Irons was able to hold onto.
“Marshall hurts a lot of opponents by getting speed on the bases, and I was happy to see us keep that to a minimum,” said Salsburg.
The tournament finale against Lafayette was equally impressive with Wozniak getting Monmouth on the board in the third via a single to left field that scored two and made it a 3-0 lead. Jimenez also scored an unearned run in the fourth to increase the lead to four.
Sophomore Lilly Robles got the start at pitcher and allowed three earned runs in 3.2 innings of work.
Irons closed out the final three innings and got the 4-3 win to improve her season record to 8-3 as she has accounted for all of the team’s wins in the circle so far.
“In both games today, we weren’t worried about who got the credit, we just focused on pushing runs across,” Salsburg said. “Alyssa had another strong day, and we had solid defense behind her.”
Monmouth’s overall record improved to 8-6 on the season with the win, while Lafayette dropped to 1-8.
Next on the docket for the Hawks is the USF Spring Break Classic next weekend in South Florida. The Blue and White will face opponents that include Lafayette, Army, Brown, North Florida, and Wichita State.
PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth Athletics