Softball Comes Up Short in Series Against Elon

After claiming their first two CAA wins in a doubleheader against Hampton on Saturday, March 11, Monmouth University’s softball team turned around to face Elon three times in two days, including yet another doubleheader on Saturday, March 18 and an additional game on Sunday, March 19.

The Lady Hawks kicked off their doubleheader with a disappointing first game, one to forget for Monmouth as just five players recorded their seven total hits. Opponents Elon were unable to fare much better against Monmouth’s pitching, recording only 10 hits themselves. The difference-maker in the opening matchup, though, was the fielding, as Monmouth managed just two runs whilst Elon put up six.

Reigning CAA Rookie of the Week Mackenzie Bloss, combined with Eve Serrato, actually stole the lead for Monmouth in the sixth inning, but it was short lived. Staring down the barrel of defeat at a 2-1 deficit, Elon cranked out five unanswered runs in the seventh inning to walk away with a victory in the first game of the weekend.

Game two told a different story as Monmouth gave Elon a taste of their own medicine. At the bottom of the second inning, the Hawks powered their way to an insurmountable lead with a four-run frame, which began with loaded bases. The scoring was capped off with a mesmerizing run from senior outfielder Briana Hoskins, who ran home from second despite junior catcher Abby Warner only hitting for a single on the play. Elon were not ready to give up, but despite knotting the Hawks at four apiece, Bloss and Warner set the Hawks free with a single and a sac-fly that fired home two more runs to claim the 6-4 victory.

Following the doubleheader and closing out the three-game series, the Hawks dropped the final game 4-3 as Bloss had her six-game hit streak snapped.

Despite establishing a 3-0 lead and a sensational pitching performance from sophomore Billie Kerwood, the Hawks were unable to find a way to finish off these close games against Elon.

After Kerwood left the game in the sixth, Elon immediately took a 4-3 lead that same inning. At the bottom of the seventh, Monmouth had one last chance to not only tie the game, but win it as well, only to fail to deliver at the last moment. Junior Kiley O’Rourke and fifth year Francesca Torraca each got on base right away, but Warner and Serrato each hit into anxiously awaiting gloves, leaving the runners stranded and ending the game in defeat.

The nail-biting series was a learning experience for the Hawks, a sentiment echoed by Head Coach Shannon Salsburg: “The takeaway today is that on a day-to-day basis, we can compete with some of the best this conference has to offer. That was a heck of a softball game, Elon just got one more run today.

Both teams fought to the very end. We had some great at-bats in the seventh. We had a few get on and a few strike the ball well, it just unfortunately didn’t fall. But it will, if we continue to stay the course with our process. I’m proud of these kids for our team’s growth. I’m excited to see what the remainder of the season has to offer.”

The Lady Hawks can next be seen in action on Wednesday, March 22 when they take on Lehigh in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.