NEWARK – The Kean University softball team swept the New Jersey Athletic Conference doubleheader from host Rutgers-Newark on Saturday afternoon, clinching the fifth seed in the upcoming NJAC tournament.
The Cougars (25-14) scored the only run of the first game in the top of the seventh for the 1-0 victory in the opener, before defeating the Scarlet Raiders (14-26, 1-17 NJAC), 9-1, in five innings in the nightcap.
Kean Edges Rutgers-Newark, 1-0 in Opener
Senior right-hander Cassie Shotwell earned the complete game shutout victory and rookie Katie Schuh scored the game’s only run of the first game in the top of the seventh inning to give the Cougars the 1-0 win in the opener.
After a scoreless six inning of play, Schuh reached on an error to lead off the seventh inning and after advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt by junior Lindsay Kennedy and third on a single by senior Allison Lizzi, the rookie scored on sacrifice fly by junior Katie Yard for the only run of the game.
Shotwell (13-6) recorded five strikeouts, while only allowing four hits in the win.
At the plate, Kennedy and senior Allison Thibault were each 2-of-3 for the Cougars.
Yard, Melchionna Lead Cougars to 9-1 Win
Junior first baseman Katie Yard was 3-of-3 with three RBI and freshman third baseman Courtney Melchionna was 3-of-3 with one RBI and one run scored, as the Cougars took an early 6-0 lead en-route to defeating the Scarlet Raiders, 9-1, in the nightcap.
After scoring the first run on an error, the Cougars took a 2-0 lead on a RBI single up the middle by Yard in the first inning.
The Cougars extended the lead to 6-0 in the second inning, taking advantage of four hits and two Rutgers-Newark errors. Left fielder Katie Schuh drove in two with a double to right-center and Melchionna added a run-scoring single through the left side for the Cougars in the inning.
Yard provided the big hit in the three-run fourth inning, as she homered to centerfield to also score senior Allison Lizzi, who singled one batter earlier.
Junior Courtney Smyth (12-8) allowed just two hits and two walks, while striking out three batters in the complete game victory.
At the plate, Lizzi was 2-of-3 with three runs scored.
The Cougars face #2 seed Ramapo College on Wednesday, May 5, in the opening round of the NJAC tournament.
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