The Rowan University softball team split a pair against Stockton University on Wednesday, April 20, in the afternoon. In the first game, the Profs held the Ospreys scoreless 5-0. And in the second game, Stockton shut out Rowan 2-0.
In the opening game, senior ace Emily August got the start in the circle where she was able to limit the Osprey’s offense with the early run support of the Profs.
Rowan plated all five of their runs in the first inning, propelled by four hits and an error. After doubling and stealing third, center fielder McKenzie Melvin scored on a throwing error by the Osprey’s catcher.
After three walks, the Profs were able to score on a passed ball to make the game 2-0. Catcher Korie Hague singled and drove in two to make the game 4-0. Hague discusses her approach at the plate and how she was able to adjust throughout her at-bat.
“It was a tough at-bat, she kept throwing me inside,” Hague said. “Inside’s not my strongest point so I kept fouling it off and I was finally like ‘it’s gonna come again’ so batted it off and it hit it down the line.”
With more traffic on the bases, right fielder Grace Shukaitis singled into right field and cashed in on the opportunity to score as the Profs led 5-0.
The Profs would not score throughout the rest of the matchup as they were backed by August’s strong performance on the mound.
Left fielder Morgan Zane reflected on August’s time at Rowan, and how she has earned her role as the number one.
“She has just progressed so much,” Zane said. “She has really just proven herself, and continues to prove herself on this team.”
Although Stockton was able to grab six hits off of August, she pitched in her tenth complete game this season, striking out seven and earning her 11th victory of the season.
For game two, although the Profs were able to collect four hits they were held scoreless for only the second time this season.
Freshman Rylee Lutz got the nod on the mound in game two but exited early after just 4.1 innings. Even with only surrendering one earned run, Lutz gave up six hits and only struck out one batter. Hague describes the differences between each pitcher and what their strengths are on the mound.
“Rylee is more of an inside [pitcher], she’s screwball, Rylee throws a little bit harder, Emily mixes it in and out, Emily’s best pitch is her curve, where Reily’s best pitch is her screw,” Hague said. “They have different speeds so that changes up the game a little bit and tries to throw them off balance.”
August came in to relieve Lutz, and in her 2.2 innings pitched in relief she struck out two, gave up four hits and gave up a run in the top half of the seventh.
The Profs had a multitude of opportunities to come back in the game including a leadoff double by Zane in the bottom of the sixth, and a runner on third in the bottom of the seventh which both were stranded.
Zane, who had two hits in the second game, reflected on the approach of the team and trying to get runs across the board.
“I think a lot of us were trying to make up for everything in one swing, which in turn causes a lot of popups, a lot of fly balls, even some well-hit balls that just get caught, ya know you can’t do anything about that,” Zane said. “But I think we need to take some pressure off and remember that this is a team game.”
Despite the loss in the second game 2-0, the Profs have posted a 25-7 record, and are still ranked No. 16 in Division III softball. They will face Kean University in a conference game on Saturday, April 23 in Union.
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