Softball Fizzles Out After Strong Opening Game at Hofstra

The offense for the Monmouth University softball put up 10 hits and nine runs in their 9-2 win over Hofstra in the first game of a conference doubleheader at Bill Edwards Stadium.

The Lady Hawks started strong with freshmen leading the way thanks to an RBI triple by center fielder Mackenzie Bloss, the first Monmouth triple of the season, that led to an RBI single by Bri Lawson to put Monmouth ahead 2-0. Devin Coia doubled home another in the third to make it a 3-0 ballgame in favor of the Hawks.

The Pride quickly responded with a run in the bottom of the third, but Monmouth broke the game open in the fifth. Bloss’ strong efforts allowed her three extra-base hits in the game, her first career three-hit game, and drove another run to home base on a double off the top of the wall in left. Emily Spencer was later called on to pinch hit and earned the first homer of her collegiate career with a grand slam. Bri Hoskins notched her second career home run to propel the Hawk lead to an impressive 9-1.

The Pride tried to keep up as they managed to get one back on a homer of their own, but Monmouth maintained their momentum and never let Hofstra find their footing, winning the game, 9-2. Billie Kerwood allowed just five hits and struck out four in her second win of the 2023 season.

The second game of the doubleheader was a back-and-forth battle between the two teams, but the Pride ultimately got their revenge as they came out on top in this one. It was a quiet start as Hofstra put one up in the first inning and no one else could get on the scoreboard again until the fifth when Lexi Castaneda scored on an aggressive first-and-third baserunning play.

The Pride reclaimed their edge on the Hawks with a three-run homer to pull ahead in the matchup, but Monmouth didn’t let this stop them as they came back storming with four runs in the top of the sixth to earn a 5-4 lead. The Hawks were unable to hang on to their lead as Hofstra answered with two in the bottom half to pull ahead and earn the 6-5 win to split the series.

“Today was a solid day of softball. Billie threw a great game. The offense was on fire and had some big hits – none bigger than Emily’s pinch-hit grand slam. We continued to push runs, which was something we really emphasized in practice this week, so I was really pleased overall. We had good, solid at-bats from start to finish,” said Head Coach Shannon Salsburg.

Going into the final game with a win each, Hofstra secured another win over the Hawks to come out on top with victories in two of the weekend’s three matches. Propelled by a two-run homer in the first inning, the Pride held on to their early lead and never looked back.

It was a quiet game until Hofstra found their way onto the scoreboard again in the sixth inning with an insurance run on an RBI single, solidifying their 3-0 win. The Pride combined to throw a complete-game shutout, holding Monmouth’s offense off the board despite the Hawks’ potential to come back with base runners in scoring position in the second, third, and seventh innings.

“Tough end to the weekend. We had opportunities we simply couldn’t cash in today. We look forward to getting back to work this week.” reflected Salsburg.

Monmouth is set to host Seton Hall on Tuesday, March 28 in a doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m. The Hawks will host the University of Delaware later in the week, with a doubleheader on Saturday, April 1 and the final matchup of the three-game series on Sunday, April 2.