Smyth, Dietrich Lead Kean Softball Past NJCU

Courtney Smyth

UNION – Senior second baseman Melissa Dietrich was a combined 4-of-7 with seven RBI and right-handers Courtney Smyth and Cassie Shotwell each earned complete game victories to lead the Kean University softball team to a New Jersey Athletic Conference doubleheader sweep of New Jersey City University on Tuesday afternoon.

Smyth  allowed just one hit in the 9-0, five-inning win for the Cougars (21-11, 6-6 NJAC) in the opener, while Dietrich drove in three runs in the 7-2 nightcap win over NJCU (14-16, 1-11 NJAC).


Smyth Tosses One-Hit, Five-Inning Shutout in Opener

Gabi Ciacciarelli

Junior right-hander Courtney Smyth was just one out away from the five-inning no-hitter, as she struck out six batters in the 9-0 shutout in the opener.

Smyth, who had a perfect game through the first three innings, allowed just a two-out single up the middle by junior Jordan Potter in the top of the fifth inning.

The Cougars took the early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when junior designated player Katie Yard had a one-out double down the right-field line to drive in rookie left fielder Katie Schuh and senior right fielder Allison Lizzi.

Two innings later, Kean broke open the game with four runs on four hits and one NJCU error, as sophomore shortstop Alicia Banz had a RBI double, and senior Melissa Dietrich and junior Lindsay Kennedy each had RBI singles in the inning.

The bottom of the fourth inning saw the Cougars tack on three more runs, with freshman third baseman Courtney Melchionna driving in two runs with a double to centerfield and Dietrich following two batters later with the run-scoring double to left field to drive in Melchionna.

In the opener, eight different Cougars recorded hits, with senior first baseman Cassie Shotwell leading the way at 3-of-3 with three runs scored. Dietrich finished 2-of-3 with two RBI, while freshman catcher Gabi Ciacciarelli scored twice after going 1-of-2.

Kean Pulls Away for 7-2 Win in Nightcap

Katie Schuh

Freshman Katie Schuh was 3-of-4 with two runs scored, while senior Melissa Dietrich drove in three, while going 2-of-4 at the plate.

The Cougars scored in four different innings, including a three-run seventh to pull away from the Gothic Knights.

NJCU took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on a run-scoring single by senior pitcher Tara Perrucci, as she drove in junior Stephanie Gomez, who walked earlier in the inning.

The lead was short-lived however, as the Cougars answered right back in the top of the second inning when Dietrich drove in Schuh and rookie Courtney Melchionna with a double to left field.

The Cougars added single runs in the third and fifth innings to extend the lead to 4-1, before NJCU trimmed the lead to two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning when junior Taylor Lang singled, advanced to third on an error that kept the inning alive and would score on a passed ball.

In the top of the seventh inning, the Cougars broke the game open with three runs, as Melchionna had a sacrifice fly, sophomore Alicia Banz had a RBI double and Dietrich followed with the run-scoring single down the left-field line to drive in Banz.

On the mound, senior Cassie Shotwell (12-5) scattered 11 hits and allowed just one earned run and one walk, while striking out five in the win.

Banz and senior designated player Allison Thibault each added two hits, while junior first baseman Katie Yard was 1-of-3 with a RBI double.

Perrucci and freshman Rebecca Satz were each 2-of-4 for the Gothic Knights.

The Cougars return to action on Saturday, April 24, when they travel to Montclair State University for a NJAC doubleheader.

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