Sports

Softball Posts 7-10 Record After Break

The Monmouth softball team traveled to CA over spring break posting a 3-5 record and concluded the week with an overall season record of 7-10. In the final three games of the week, the Hawks fell to both San Diego State and UC Riverside, but achieved a come-from-behind victory over Dartmouth, adding one win and two losses to their record.

After five games played in Santa Barbara, CA, the Hawks traveled to face the San Diego Aztecs on Tuesday, March 18 ending in a 1-5 loss. The Aztecs kicked things off in the bottom of the first, when a double down the right field line by Hayley Miles allowed Leia Ruiz, a walked batter, to score. The Hawks countered in the fourth inning, when a single by senior Alicia DeSanto turned into an unearned run after an error by the Aztecs.

Freshman pitcher Sydney Underhill held San Diego State at a tie until the fifth inning, when a single by Dominique Dinner earned an RBI, giving the Aztecs the lead. In the sixth, a triple by Jaylene Ignacio and a single by Dinner helped score three more runs, which Monmouth was unable to answer in the seventh. After this game, the Hawks dropped to 6-9 and the Aztecs improved to 22-8.

The Hawks concluded the week with a double-header on Thursday, March 20 against Dartmouth and UC Riverside. MU split the double-header, with a 6-5 comeback win against Dartmouth and a 3-5 loss against UC Riverside.

Game two of the doubleheader was dominated early by Dartmouth, whose Big Green offense was up by four runs by the third inning, courtesy of RBI's by Katie McEachern, Kristen Rumley, and Kelsey Miller. They shut out the Hawks until the fourth inning, when the bases became loaded with no outs. Freshman Justene Reyes contributed a RBI to make the score 1-4 before freshman Rachel Shotzbarger hit an impressive grand slam to left field, her first ever home run with the team. A double in the seventh by senior Katie Schumacher pushed in another run, improving the score to 6-4 in favor of Monmouth.

The Big Green threatened a comeback in the bottom of the seventh, loading the bases and scoring a run on a groundout, but the Hawks were able to hold off Dartmouth for a final score of 6-5. Both Monmouth and Dartmouth posted a 7-9 record after the game.

MU played its final game of spring break against UC Riverside's Highlanders, who took an early lead against the Hawks after Dionne Anderson scored off of a Karina Romero single. The blue and white quickly tied the game, with a lead-off home run by sophomore Raelynn Galindo in the top of the second inning.

The Hawks fell behind again when Haley Harris contributed a RBI double, and Highlanders Kaylie Atkinson and Ashley Erconlano scored back-to-back home runs, increasing UC Riverside's lead to 4-1. MU countered in the fifth, when Reyes doubled to get on base and scored after a hit by sophomore Jill Freese.

Both teams scored an additional run in the final innings of the game: the Highlanders added an insurance run on Anderson's RBI double, and the Hawks pushed in a run after Freese's single to right center. The game concluded in a 3-5 loss for MU, dropping the Hawks' record to 7-10, and advancing the Highlanders to 16-12.

Though the Hawks still post a losing record, head coach Louie Berndt remains optimistic about her team and their future games.

"I thought we improved in every game," said Berndt. "We still have adjustments to make, but as we continue to play outside we are getting stronger."

In terms of where the Hawks can go from here, Coach Berndt notes that the defense is getting stronger everyday, but she would like to see more out of the team's offense.

"We need to score runs, early and often," Berndt commented, noting that she hopes to accomplish this by getting the team out on our home field upon the Hawks' return to campus.

The team will next play in a doubleheader on Sunday, March 30 against MAAC opponents, the Quinnipiac Bobcats. Game times are set for 1 pm and 3 pm.