The Rowan University softball team opened up their New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) play with a set of wins over William Paterson University on Saturday. In the first game of the doubleheader, the Profs ousted the Pioneers 6-0 and then defeated William Paterson 10-1 in five innings.
After a battle in the circle between William Paterson’s Jaelynn Miller and Rowan’s Emily August during game one, the Profs broke the game open in the sixth inning.
Senior outfielder Morgan Zane got the scoring started with her fifth blast of the season to give Rowan a 1-0 lead. Sophomore third baseman Breanna Bryant tacked on two more runs for the Profs when her two-RBI single moved Rowan to a 3-0 lead.
Bryant describes her approach at the plate as being instinctual.
“I was just coming in [to the plate] thinking ‘just see the ball and hit the ball.’ I’ve been playing this game for so many years,” Bryant said. “Just see it and hit it.”
The Profs then poured it on when an error and two wild pitches allowed Rowan to extend their lead to 6-0.
Bryant feels as if the Profs excel on the offensive end, which was shown throughout the day.
“We’re just a really good offensive hitting team, I think once one person gets going and starts hitting, we all [hit],” Bryant said. “Hitting is so contagious, that once we all start hitting everyone just starts going.”
Six runs are all the Profs would need to win the game and August, once again, held strong on the rubber.
August struck out ten batters while not surrendering a walk. She only allowed four hits in her eighth win of the season. In doing so, she earned NJAC Pitcher of the week.
Bryant reflects on the pitching performances of the starters throughout the day.
“Emily is great, Emily is amazing,” Bryant said. “And then Rylee [Lutz] is also young and she’s really holding her own out there, so it’s really good.”
The Profs totaled six hits, while Bryant led the way with two RBIs. Zane and sophomore Kaitlyn Riggs each chipped in with one.
The Profs continued their dominance at the plate during the second game where they only needed five innings to defeat the Pioneers by a score of 10-1.
Rowan started the scoring much earlier in the second game when sophomore first baseman, Cat Thomas, went deep in the second inning for her third home run of the season. After William Paterson was able to tie it up at the top of the third inning with a double, the Profs took off and never let their foot off the gas.
The Profs would score nine runs in the bottom of the third inning off of a collective effort.
McKenzie Melvin, Payton MacNair, Thomas, Korie Hague, Liz McCaffery and Bryant all grabbed hits to propel the Profs to a 10-1 lead after three innings.
Head Coach Kim Wilson is happy that the Profs played their style of softball more so in the second game.
“In the second game I thought we did a very good job of attacking their pitchers and just playing our game,” Coach Wilson said. “Putting multiple people on [the bases].”
Freshman pitcher Rylee Lutz held her own in the circle, where she allowed six hits, struck out three, and only surrendered one run in her eighth victory of the season. In doing so, she was able to rack up the NJAC Rookie Pitcher of the Week for the third time this season.
“I think it’s great for Rylee because we scored so many runs and it keeps her innings low,” Coach Wilson said. “I thought Emily did a great job keeping them off balance and throwing her pitches.”
In the five-inning win, the Profs totaled ten hits, where Bryant, McCaffery and Thomas all added two RBIs. Melvin, Thomas and Hague each added two hits in the campaign.
The Profs have shown their versatility and depth as a team, where their collective effort was key in the victories, according to Coach Wilson.
“We have a lot of kids on this roster that can do a lot of different things,” Coach Wilson. “So, hopefully, on any given day it’s any of their turns, so I’m pretty happy with where they are.”
The Profs have won seven games in a row and have moved to 17-5 on the season. They will continue to face NJAC opponents to close out the season as they will take on Rutgers-Camden away on Tuesday, April 5.
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