Rowan Softball goes 11-1 in The Spring Games

Grace Shukaitis admires her hit. Shukaitis recorded eight hits and scored eight runs during The Spring Games. - Photo / Rowan Athletics

On Friday, March 17, the Rowan softball team completed a stretch of 12 games over an eight day span at The Spring Games in Florida. During the stretch, Rowan won 11 games and lost just one, their final matchup against Ohio Wesleyan University.

To kick off The Spring Games in Winter Haven, Florida the Profs took down Monmouth University 3-2 in eight innings on Friday, March 10, while following up by defeating Gordon University 15-2 later that day.

Up next, Rowan traveled north to Kissimmee, Florida to face off against SUNY-Fredonia and Plymouth State University on Saturday, March 11, where they won 2-0 and 8-0, respectively.

Sophomore Liz McCaffery reflected on the team’s performance throughout their trip. 

“We really showed a lot of potential that we have as a team,” McCaffery said. “We came in and we were down some games and never really stressed out.” 

The Profs would get another shutout victory on Monday, March 13, this time in Clermont, Florida where Rowan beat Caroll University 4-0. 

“As a whole, I think the pitching staff has shown they have the strength to be very, very good,” McCaffery said. “They just have to keep putting in the work.”

Rowan wrapped up their trip in Clermont, and although the Profs had to battle adversity throughout their remaining contests, they came out on top in all but one — their final matchup of The Spring Games.

Rowan topped Bowdoin College 6-3 on Monday, March 13 after putting up six runs in four innings. The next morning, Rowan captured a walk-off victory against Mount St. Joseph University in the bottom of the eighth inning,when Breanna Bryant scored on a wild pitch to secure the 1-0 win. 

“It was a huge team effort in a lot of those games, everyone is putting the work in,” McCaffery said. “We’re playing for the final out, and thankfully for us, we were pretty successful.”

Just a few hours later, Rowan trailed 3-0 in the fourth against Franklin and Marshall College but then began chipping away. McCaffery hit a sacrifice fly that allowed Grace Shukaitis to score, bringing the Profs within two. Korie Hague followed up with an RBI single to put Rowan further within reach, and then freshman Abigail Pawlowski followed Hague’s lead with a single down the left field line for another RBI. With the bases loaded, two more runs were able to come around and score as a result of a pair of errors. Rowan took the lead 5-3 on the Pawlowski bullet.

McCaffery discussed the team effort that took place, one in which many players were utilized in order to grind out the victories. 

“At any time and at any moment, it could be your time,” McCaffery said. “We had a bunch of girls, underclassmen, who came in at big times who worked hits, or got hit by a pitch, they stole, they’re pinch running.” 

The Profs continued to take advantage of errors with their bats, tacking on two more runs and winning 7-3 against Franklin and Marshall.

Rowan won their next three matchups in convincing fashion: 4-0 vs. Carthage College, 10-2 vs. SUNY-Geneseo and 8-1 vs. Mount Saint Mary University. 

Junior outfielder Grace Shukaitis highlighted the offensive firepower the Profs displayed in those three games. 

“Offensively, I thought we did pretty well,” Shukaitis said. “This is just the start, it was just the beginning in Florida. What we did in Florida is just a little bit of what we have, and putting that together, I think we’re going to do great.”

Rowan dropped their final matchup of The Spring Games 5-2 against Ohio Wesleyan. The Profs trailed 5-0 and had a chance to rally in the seventh with the bases loaded, but fell short on a double play corralled by the defense. 

“It prepared us for that ‘game-like’ mentality,” Shukaitis said. “It really did prepare us for how much we need to be focused in the game, and how much we need to be there as a team.”

Over the course of 12 games, Rowan amassed 109 hits, 20 doubles and six home runs. During this stretch, Payton McNair compiled 16 hits, McCaffery and Bryant collected 13 each, and Shukaitis added eight hits. The Profs’ pitching staff also struck out 70 batters in 12 games. 

Up next for the 14-2 Profs is a doubleheader matchup against Rosemont College on Wednesday, March 22, their 2023 home opener.

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