The Roadrunners wanted to build momentum in the homestretch to the New Jersey Athletic Conference Postseason Tournament when they hosted the Montclair State University Red Hawks in a double-header. They took both games by scores of 4-3 and 3-0.
Ramapo’s second-year head coach Bridgette Quimpo believes the team as a whole worked hard all year long to get to this point in the season.
“Being able to work together as a team from our starters to the players that are sitting on the bench, our role players; we say who’s the MVP of this team, we don’t have one,” said Quimpo. “This team is the MVP; our team is the way we work and it’s crazy because our 7-8-9 gets it done, but our 1-2-3 will also get it done; there’s no hole in our lineup, but pitching wise, we’ve got it done. It’s an overall team effort. We have won these games because of this entire team from top to bottom.”
In game one the Roadrunners struck quickly in the first inning, as junior designated hitter Melanie Walling smacked a single right up the middle on a 2-2 count, driving in junior right fielder Danielle Saporito to take the early 1-0 lead. The Red Hawks responded with two runs in the top of the second inning, when freshman third baseman Alana Luna hit an 0-2 pitch to deep left center for a two-run home run.
The Roadrunners would answer in the bottom of the inning, when sophomore shortstop Nicole Hernandez scored from third on a fielder’s choice. The Roadrunners got the lead back in the bottom of the fourth inning, as Saporito and senior center fielder Jaclyn Lima scored on a throwing error by senior catcher and the other Red Hawk captain Melany Zeller on a sacrifice fly by junior third baseman Mikayla Melendez to take a 4-2 lead.
Freshman Katrina Buczkowski took the win as she pitched a complete game, allowing three earned runs on five hits, letting up no walks and striking out five.
In game two, the Roadrunners drew first blood again, as Walling hit a long fly ball to center to drive Saporito from third. They would add another run in the bottom of the second as Lima hit an electrifying RBI triple, driving in Hernandez from second. The final run occurred in the bottom of the sixth inning, as sophomore left fielder Grace Brennan smacked a 2-1 pitch deep to left field for her team-leading fifth home run of the year.
Freshman pitcher Christina Brizek pitched a complete game shutout and took the win, as she went seven innings allowing six hits, no runs, walking two and striking out two.
Lima said that the double-header against Montclair was “100 percent” a must-win, just like any other NJAC game.
“Our goal, our team was to make playoffs because we haven’t in the past three years, so every game in the NJAC is a must-win,” said Lima.
The Roadrunners take the road today to take on the Rutgers-Camden Scarlet Raptors in a double-header.