Softball Bounces Back, Racks Up Two Wins at Home

After a disappointing series against Delaware left a sour taste in their mouths, Monmouth University’s softball team rebounded nicely, collecting a 5-3 win over Columbia on April 5 and taking the first game of an April 7 doubleheader against North Carolina A&T by a score of 6-5.

Sophomore pitcher Billie Kerwood started against Columbia for the Hawks, and pitched 1.1 innings before exiting the game, with fifth-year pitcher Kelly Toomey taking over. The visiting Columbia Lions took a 2-0 lead in the second inning off of a home run that sent a base runner home. Monmouth wasted no time reigning the game back in, tying the game off of red-hot junior catcher Devin Coia’s two RBI singles in the third inning. Columbia would briefly retake the lead in the fourth inning on a triple before the Hawks shut things down to close out the game.

Senior pitcher Kylie Gletow pitched the last 3.1 innings, allowing only three hits and no runs. Junior infielder Julia Thuer tied the game at 3-3 on a sac-fly from sophomore infielder Eve Serrato at the bottom of the fourth inning before returning the favor in the fifth inning. Julia Thuer’s RBI single in the fifth gave the Hawks a 4-3 lead, and junior catcher Abby Warner sealed the deal with a homer in the sixth inning to make the score 5-3.

Two days later, Monmouth hosted North Carolina A&T for a doubleheader that the two sides split evenly.
Like their previous game against Columbia, Monmouth found themselves down 2-0 early before bouncing back in a big way in the middle frames. Warner carried her excellent performance over from the game against Columbia, scoring a run and registering three hits in her four at-bats as the Hawks scored five unanswered runs through the third, fourth, and fifth innings.

Freshman shortstop Bri Lawson was responsible for three of the Hawks’ six runs, scoring two and batting in another. Thuer also got in on the party with two RBIs of her own. Kerwood earned her second win of the season, going six full innings and allowing just four hits. Junior pitcher Kait Mulcahey recorded her first save of the season, holding the Aggies hitless and scoreless in her relief appearance to secure the 6-5 win.

The Hawks were far less lucky in their second game of the day, losing 1-0 to their opponents in a nine-inning nailbiter. Kylie Gletow started the game for Monmouth and pitched all nine innings, allowing only seven hits and, unfortunately, the only run of the game. Gletow’s fantastic performance was negated by an equally impressive effort from North Carolina A&T, who limited Monmouth to just six hits themselves.

Coia and Thuer continued to have hot bats, with each recording hits yet again. The Hawks were just not able to convert their base runners into runs, leaving 13 runners stranded in the game.

Head Coach Shannon Salsburg lamented the lack of opportunism after the loss, saying “Tough way to split. I thought both of our pitchers threw really well today. Billie did a great job in the first game, and we came through with some timely hitting. In game two, Kylie pitched an awesome game. We had opportunities over and over, but we have to continue to work on having a consistent approach with runners in scoring position.”

The Hawks had an opportunity to get right in an April 8 rematch, but North Carolina A&T handily defeated Monmouth 7-2 despite the Hawks’ best efforts. Kerwood pitched six innings for the Hawks and allowed a meager six hits to pair with nine strikeouts, but the Aggies still managed to post five runs against Kerwood. Gletow and Mulcahey also pitched in relief, and Coia extended her hitting streak to seven games with an RBI that gave the Hawks their second of two runs on the day. With her nine strikeouts, Kerwood has cracked triple-digit strikeouts on the season with 105. Coia also leaders the team in batting average, boasting a .305 on the heels of this purple patch.

Up next, Monmouth will travel down to the College of Charleston for another three-game series, starting Saturday, April 15 at 1 p.m.