The Rowan softball team earned a set of shutout wins against their New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) rival, Montclair State University (MSU), in a doubleheader on Saturday, April 16.
During game one, pitcher Emily August led the Profs to a 3-0 victory. Game two featured much of the same as Rylee Lutz’s arm led the team to another 3-0 win.
To start the day, the Profs were fairly quiet at the plate, scoring just one run in the second inning that was knocked in by infielder Devyn DiPasquale. In the fourth, two more runs were tallied thanks to the bat of right fielder Grace Shukaitis.
Later in the game, Rowan crossed the plate once in innings four, five and six, which was enough for the victory. Left fielder Morgan Zane added two RBIs, and Shukaitis picked up her third of the day. She attributed her three-RBI day to patience and observation.
“I knew from my first at-bat I was really ahead of it,” Shukaitis said. “My next at-bat, I watched more. I watched the release to see if [the ball] would be spinning to the outside or on the inside.”
The in-game adjustments are evidently working for the Clifton, New Jersey, sophomore as Shukaitis has driven in 18 runs during Rowan’s 2022 campaign.
It was the all-around domination on the mound, however, that helped secure the wins for the Profs.
In game one, August painted the corners against MSU with prowess that could envy Van Gogh’s. She threw her ninth complete game of the season and put away a dozen Red Hawk batters on strikes.
August’s 12 Ks were just one short of tying her season-high of 13. Her ability to pinpoint pitches resulted from time spent earlier in the week with the coaching staff trying to “fine-tune” her throws.
“We were working on throwing more changeups,” August said. “And I was working on my inside curve, trying to get that to break more.”
For game number two, freshman Rylee Lutz brought out the broom for Rowan, delivering seven scoreless innings and capturing her 11th win of the year. Lutz has been a standout for Rowan and recently earned NJAC Rookie Pitcher of the Week honors.
Like August and her inside breaking ball, Lutz worked on perfecting her interior pitches.
“I’m more of a screwball girl, anything inside really,” Lutz said. “I’ve been working on my curve too, and it’s looking a lot better than usual.”
The No. 16 nationally-ranked Profs are now 24-6 overall. And, in conference play, Rowan rests atop the standings at 9-1. Their one loss came against The College of New Jersey during a split doubleheader earlier in the week.
Lutz credits a lot of the on-field success to the camaraderie of the team.
“We have no team drama, ever. We’re a really close team,” Lutz said. “I always know the girls are going to back me up.”
After winning their last three, Rowan softball looks to continue their undisputed success when they host Stockton University in a doubleheader on Tuesday, April 19, before packing their bags and heading up to Union, New Jersey, where they will face off against the Kean University Cougars.
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