The No. 15 ranked Rowan softball team took down the Rosemont College Ravens in both legs of their doubleheader home opener on Wednesday, March 22, by final scores of 9-1 and 10-2, respectively.
The Profs jumped on the scoreboard early in game number one. Abigail Pawlowski cashed in on an RBI double with Payton MacNair on second, and Korie Hague followed suit with a double to make the game 2-0.
Breanna Bryant then capitalized with a runner on and drove home a run with a grounder to first. Immediately following, Devyn DiPasquale notched the Profs’ third double of the inning to give Rowan a 4-0 lead at the end of the first.
“I think we did a good job in the first game of going out and scoring some runs early,” Head Coach Kim Wilson said.
The Profs added insurance in the bottom of the second when Pawlowski notched her second hit and second RBI of the contest. What followed was a huge two-run single from Hague that broke open the game, giving the Profs a 7-0 lead.
In the next inning, Rowan was able to take advantage of a throwing error to tack on one more run, extending the lead to 8-0.
MacNair discussed the team’s offensive performance throughout the doubleheader.
“As a whole team, I think everyone did really well with our consistency and our hitting throughout both games, which I thought was really good,” MacNair said. “We put up a lot of runs in both games.”
With a sizable lead, Rowan pulled starter Rylee Lutz, who went 4 innings, gave up one hit and struck out five. The Ravens were in danger of getting run-ruled in the top of the fifth inning, but with pitcher Veronica Goode coming in relief for the Profs, Rosemont put a run on the board when Tianna Ortiz hit a double for an RBI.
Lutz shared what went well for her in her first outing of the day.
“Everything was pretty much working,” Lutz said. “I felt like I was pretty loose. Not stressing myself out was a big key and focusing on spin instead of speed. And I know my teammates have my back, especially offensively.”
Rowan was eventually able to put Rosemont away when Hague continued her hot game one with an RBI single, solidifying the Profs’ 9-1 victory in the sixth inning.
Hague explained the reason for her success at the plate in game one.
“I was just seeing the ball really well, I felt really comfortable, probably the best all season,” Hague said. “I just see ball, hit ball.”
The Profs scored in the first frame of game number two thanks to Cat Thomas crushing her fourth home run of the year, a two run shot over the left field fence.
In the top of the third, Rosemont was able to make it a 2-2 ballgame against Rowan starter Marina Costello. Costello went three innings, gave up four hits, two earned runs and struck out one in her outing.
Lutz was called upon to close out game two and she did not disappoint, not allowing the Ravens to get a hit the rest of the game.
“She was hitting all of her spots very well,” Hague said. “The ball was spinning, moving, she was keeping it low, and her rise [riseball] was spinning up, they were chasing. She pitched phenomenal. She came back in and closed it down.”
The offense was there to back up Lutz, with Hague and Bryant each singling in the bottom of the third to give Rowan the lead once again, 4-2. Next, Liz McCaffery plated a run through a double to stretch the lead to three runs, 5-2.
Rowan then broke the game wide open with a four run fifth inning, led by a bases-clearing double off the bat of MacNair.
“That at-bat, I was going in with a different approach than the first three,” MacNair said. “I knew that I was too antsy my first three at-bats, and I knew that I needed to go in with a calmer approach, because there were runners on base and we needed to get those runs in. So, I was just looking for the best pitch and it worked out for me.”
From there, Lutz continued to hold it down on the mound, and Rowan was able to steal the final run of the game, as Goode scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the sixth to end the game 10-2.
“Second game, I don’t think we made adjustments early enough, but at the end of the day, we finally finished up and we had some key hits to run-rule it,” Coach Wilson said.
With the pair of victories, Rowan moves to 16-2 on the young season. The team combined for 27 hits and scored in nine out of 12 innings played on the day.
Up next for the Profs is a trip to Haverford, Pennsylvania this weekend to take on the Fords in a pair of games on Saturday, March 25, before returning to Glassboro on Tuesday, March 28 to face Swarthmore College in another doubleheader.
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