Softball Splits Doubleheader with Charleston Before Homestand

Prior to a doubleheader, part of a three-game series against the College of Charleston, the Monmouth University softball team visited Rider University on April 13 in a closely matched 11-7 loss for the Hawks.
Senior Kylie Gletow and junior Kait Mulcahey pitched the first half of the game for Monmouth, with fifth-year Kelly Toomey pitching 3.2 innings in relief.

The batters of both teams flew high in the matchup, with Monmouth recording 11 hits, compared to 12 for Rider. The Hawks found themselves at an early deficit, with Rider scoring their first two runs of the game in the second inning. Monmouth answered with a run of their own in the third inning, thanks to a moonshot homer into left field by junior catcher Abby Warner. Unfortunately, the home team owned the rest of the inning, expanding their lead from 2-1 to 10-1 on five unanswered scoring plays to close the third.

The game was not over just yet for Monmouth, who scored six runs over the fourth and fifth innings to bring themselves within three. Fifth-year outfielder Francesca Torraca buoyed the Hawks’ effort with a three-run RBI homer that sent herself, Lexi Castaneda, and Riley Riendeau across home plate.
The hosts managed to shut the door late in the sixth inning, and bought themselves an insurance run off of a Monmouth fielding error, effectively ending the game at 11-7.

After the back-and-forth loss, Head Coach Shannon Salsburg said “It was nice to see the team battle back today. We got ourselves into too big of a hole, unfortunately, but there was solid fight.

We got big hits from Abby and Franny, and Kelly came in and did well in relief. There are definitely things we want to build upon as we head into Charleston this weekend.”

Building off of their late momentum, Monmouth traveled to Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina and smacked Charleston 11-3 in the first game of a doubleheader on April 15, one in which they would share the spoils evenly.

Sophomore pitcher Billie Kerwood went the full seven innings for Monmouth, allowing only four hits and three runs in 25 at-bats. It was a blessing nobody called the fire department to put out Abby Warner’s bat, as she scored three runs and batted in three more, accounting for more than half of Monmouth’s offense in the win. Freshman center fielder Mackenzie Bloss and sophomore infielder Eve Serrato also scored multiple runs for the Hawks. Freshman infielder Bri Lawson was the only other Hawk to have multiple RBIs. All told, the Hawks scored 11 runs, recorded 12 hits, 10 RBIs, and drew 13 walks, en route to their best, most well-rounded offensive performance of the season.

The second game was much less eventful, as the two sides engaged in a low-scoring affair. Kelly Toomey made her first-ever start for Monmouth, fanning eight batters over six innings, but lacked the run support to collect a win. Despite Toomey’s efforts, the Hawks left seven base runners stranded, and finished run-less in a 3-0 game two loss.

The following day, on April 16, the Hawks had a shot at redemption against their opponents but came up empty-handed, dropping the game 6-3.

After Eve Serrato batted in Mackenzie Bloss to go up 1-0, Charleston ripped off six unanswered runs to establish a 6-1 lead through five innings of play. After loading the bases, Monmouth had an opportunity to fire back, but only made it halfway. With no outs, Eve Serrato’s sac-fly made it 6-2, before Abby Warner sent home another runner to bring the Hawks within three. With just one out and the tying runner on base, the Hawks popped out twice in the infield, bringing matters to an anti-climactic conclusion.

The Hawks will be back in action on Wednesday, April 19, when they play the first of their six consecutive home games, starting with a rematch against Rider at 2 p.m.