Sports

Softball Sweeps Weekend Behind Perfect Game

Softball 04.03.19Sophomore pitcher Alyssa Irons threw the first perfect game for Softball since 2006 in game one of the program’s home double header with Niagara on Friday, where they won both games before sweeping Canisius in a double header on Saturday.

The performance was impressive enough to earn Irons Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Pitcher of the Week honors.

In the first game Monmouth swept Niagara with a 6-0 shutout. Irons pitched all seven innings without allowing a single run, walk, or hit.

“Today was an awesome way to start conference play,” said Head Coach Shannon Salsburg. “Obviously in game one, Alyssa set the tone. To throw a perfect game was awesome, and she did a great job of attacking the hitters all day. Our defense made the routine plays.”

Monmouth wasted no time getting into the groove of things in game one with freshman infielder and outfielder Lindsey Baron bombing a triple to left field. Junior infielder Sam Tomasetti was up to bat next and hit a single, allowing Baron to score and getting Monmouth on the board early. They scored again in the bottom of the third inning with junior first baseman Kayla Rosado hitting an RBI single to left field, scoring Baron to make it 2-0.

The energy picked up in the bottom of the fourth inning, where Monmouth scored four runs to solidify their 6-0 win in game one. Junior infielder Deangie Jimenez hit a single to left field which resulted in two runs, scoring junior utility Amanda Hopeck and sophomore outfielder Katie Harrington. Then, Rosado hit a single to right field, batting in Jimenez and Irons for two more RBIs.

The Hawks carried this energy into game two and won 7-2. Unlike the first game, Niagara got on the scoreboard with a single-RBI hit by sophomore second baseman Maggie Vesneske. Monmouth replied to this by scoring two runs while they were up to bat thanks to Rosado hitting a pitch out to right center, bringing Tomasetti and Baron home to score. Niagara tied it in the top of the third inning when senior first baseman Jerri Ann Orfano smacked a double to right center for an RBI, making the score 2-2.

Between the bottom of the third inning and the bottom of the sixth, the Hawks score six runs. This started off with Harrington grounding out to the pitcher, but still got Tomasetti in for an RBI. In the bottom of the fourth inning, Tomasetti went yard with a triple down the right field line earning two RBI’s by bringing home Baron and sophomore outfielder Morgan Maziarz to score. Followed by this was Rosado hitting a double to right field which brought home Tomasetti to make the score 2-6.

No runs were scored from either team again until the bottom of the seventh inning, when Monmouth scored a walk-off winner. It started with Baron hitting a double to left field and then Tomasetti got in the box and hit an RBI single to center field, allowing Baron to score the winning run.

“In game two, I was proud of how we responded after Niagara jumped out to a lead,” Salsburg said. “We knew [Niagara] was a feisty team and knew they wouldn’t quit. We focused on putting more and more runs on the board instead of settling, and that’s what it’s going to take as we move through the MAAC.”

Monmouth added two more wins to their conference record by defeating Canisius 13-2 in a double header on Saturday.

Canisius got on the scoreboard early with freshman infielder Hannah Catallo-Stooks hitting an RBI to right field, allowing sophomore Kara Paradowski to run home to score their only run of the game.

The Hawks came in hot by scoring two runs in the first inning. Junior outfielder Amber Wozniak hit a single to left field, bringing home Baron to put their first run on the board. Right after, Hopeck hit a single up the middle, allowing Wozniak to score a second run.

The Hawks scored again in the bottom of the second inning as a result of Baron reaching on an error by Canisius’ right fielder, allowing sophomore catcher Erika Coreth to score. Monmouth’s fourth and final run of the game came during the bottom of the third inning with Irons hitting an RBI single to first base, bringing home senior outfielder Jasmine Higa to clutch their 4-1 victory.

The second game of the double header against Canisius had a similar scoring pattern, but instead of Monmouth only scoring four runs, they scored nine.

Again, Canisius got on the board early on in the game, and again, it was their only run of the game. This time it was the result of them sacrificing a fly ball as an out in order to allow sophomore outfielder Erin Hufford to score.

The Hawks scored three runs in their first time up. Rosado scored two by hitting home Tomasetti and Baron and Wozniak earned one for the team as well by singling out to left center field and bringing in Rosado for another run.

Monmouth scored another three runs during the bottom of the second inning. The MAAC Rookie of the Week, Baron, hit a two-run home run to score herself as well as Maziarz. Rosado got Tomasetti to score again by hitting a single out to right field to make the score 6-1. The Hawks scored two more times during their at bats in the bottom of both the fourth and fifth inning.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Wozniak hit a triple down the right field line, allowing both Rosado and Tomasetti to come in for two runs. During the bottom of the fifth inning, Baron reached on a fielding error by Canisius’ third baseman, which brought home freshman infielder Danielle Dominik for the final run of the game.

Since Monmouth was ahead by eight runs, they were able to run-rule Canisius to end the game after the fifth inning rather than continuing to play the full seven.

“I’m very proud of the way we came out today. We knew that Canisius was going to bring a lot of energy. We talked a lot about being ourselves, but also bringing our energy. I like the fact that in both games, we got down but fought right back and took control,” said Salsburg.

Softball has won 20 of their last 22 home games. After this week their record is now 17-10 and 4-0 in MAAC games.

The Hawks will welcome the University of Delaware to MU Softball Park today for a double header. First pitch for game one is set for 2:00 p.m. and it will be aired on ESPN3.

PHOTO TAKEN by Karlee Sell