After an incredible 9-3 week in Florida at the THE Spring Games, including an eight-game win streak, the softball team returned north on Tuesday to face Mount Saint Mary College (MSMC) in a doubleheader. The Roadrunners continued their blazing-hot start to the season, sweeping MSMC and improving to 13-3 on the season.
The Roadrunners won game one in a six-inning run rule after leading 12-3. After a scoreless first two innings, Ramapo struck first with a RBI groundout from Katie Rygiel. Later in the inning, Alexis Corra extended the lead to two after her sacrifice fly scored Jaclyn Monaco. In the next inning, Avery Kontura hit her second home run of the season, a two-run shot that doubled Ramapo’s lead to 4-0.
With the score at 5-0 in the bottom of the inning, MSMC got one run back on a Sophia Reed sacrifice fly. However, Ramapo answered with two more runs in the top of the fifth, including Monaco stealing home. Monaco, who had 29 stolen bases last season, already has 15 this year.
The Roadrunners blew the game open in the sixth. After Avery Bartolomeo hit an RBI single, her third hit of the day, freshman Kori Gargiulo hit a bases-clearing double into the left-center field gap, pushing the lead to 12-1. MSMC scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth, but it was not enough to avoid the mercy rule.
Marissa DiPaolo took the mound for Ramapo in game one and was credited with the win. She went four innings, allowed just one run, four hits, struck out two and walked nobody. She lowered her ERA to 0.55 on the season. Mahogany Wheeler and Brooke Knight came on in relief, shutting the door on a dominant first game.
Game two started less desirable for Ramapo as MSMC took an early 1-0 lead in the first on a Samantha Bendig RBI double. The Roadrunners’ offense picked up their pitcher, Kassy Stefanski, tying the game the next inning on a Nicole Cerasi RBI single, plating Kontura. Kontura then gave Ramapo the lead in the next inning with an RBI single.
The Roadrunners tacked on two more runs via an error and a sacrifice fly, and MSMC answered with a run in the bottom of the fourth. In the bottom of the sixth, the Knights put the first two runners on, and Knight came in for relief of Stefanski. She proceeded to get the next three MSMC batters in order, all by groundouts. The game was called due to darkness and Ramapo officially won 4-3 in six innings.
Stefanski was credited with her fourth win of the season in game two. She went five innings, gave up two runs on nine hits, struck out four and walked two. For MSMC, Grace MacDonald took the loss. She went the full six innings, gave up four runs — two earned — on 10 hits, struck out two and walked one.
Through 16 games, the Roadrunners currently sit in fourth place in the New Jersey Athletic Conference. Their early season success can be attributed to an entire team effort as many Roadrunners are having career seasons.
Monaco currently leads Ramapo in batting average (.551), hits (27) and OPS (1.145). Kontura leads the team with 17 runs and 19 RBIs. Three Roadrunners (Kontura, Corra and Wheeler) are tied for the team lead with two homers each. The team has used speed to their advantage, stealing 38 bases on 44 attempts, good for an 86% success rate.
For pitching, Ramapo’s three main starters — DiPaolo, Stefanski and Wheeler — all have four wins on the season. DiPaolo leads the way with a 0.55 ERA while Stefanski has the most strikeouts on the team with 30.
Ramapo will head home for the first time this season for two games against Stevens Institute of Technology. The non-conference doubleheader will be on March 23 at 3 p.m.