Softball improves to 2-1-1 in NJAC games

After splitting a doubleheader against Stockton University in the team’s first New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) action of the season, the softball team played another NJAC doubleheader on Tuesday, this time against William Paterson University. The Roadrunners took game one by a score of 6-3 and tied with the Pioneers in game two in an extra-innings game that was called due to darkness.

In game one, Ramapo got out to an early 1-0 lead after Avery Kontura singled home Mahogany Wheeler in the first inning. This was the first of Kontura’s three hits in the game. The Roadrunners added two more in the bottom of the second thanks to a Katie Rygiel RBI single and an Alexis Corra RBI fielder’s choice.

The Pioneers stormed back in the top of the fourth inning, scoring three unearned runs against pitcher Kassy Stefanski and tying the game. However, Ramapo answered right back in the bottom of the inning as Wheeler singled up the middle, scoring Rygiel and Jaclyn Monaco and giving the Roadrunners a 5-3 lead. Monaco tacked on one more the next inning on her third hit of the game, an RBI infield single, bringing in the eventual final run.

Anna Messina collected two hits in game two against William Paterson. Photo courtesy of Nancy Rygiel, Ramapo Athletics

Stefanski went the distance for Ramapo for the second time in her career. Over seven innings, she did not allow an earned run, only gave up three hits, struck out nine and walked nobody. She improved to 6-2 on the year and lowered her season ERA to 4.04. Jaelynn Miller took the loss for William Paterson. She went four innings, allowed five runs (one earned), seven hits, struck out one and walked two. 

Game two was a much different story for both teams. It was a pitcher’s duel between Ramapo’s Marissa DiPaolo and William Paterson’s Lilah Guthy. Both pitchers went the first six innings without giving up a run, although they both worked around some pressure from the offenses.

The Roadrunners threatened in the bottom of the first inning, putting runners on first and second with only one out. However, Guthy worked around that by inducing a flyout and a popout to end the inning. In the top of the third, the Pioneers put runners on first and second with two outs, but DiPaolo got out of the inning.

 Ramapo put two runners on in the fourth and fifth innings, but again could not get that first run on the board. DiPaolo started the top of the seventh, but after allowing a leadoff single to Gianna Mulato, she was pulled in favor of Brooke Knight. The Pioneers ended up scoring a run after back-to-back singles by Caitlin Mohanan and Grace Gaskill. However, Knight worked around pressure and proceeded to get the next three batters out, limiting the damage to one run.

In the bottom of the seventh, Monaco led off with a single, stole second and came home to score on an RBI double from Rygiel, tying the game at one. After Corra popped out, Guthy was replaced by Miller, who got out of the inning, sending the game into extra innings.

In the top of the eighth, Knight stranded the ghost runner on second base and gave Ramapo a chance to walk off in the bottom of the inning. Despite this, Ramapo’s ghost runner was thrown out for the first out of the inning on a fielder’s choice hit by Kontura. Kontura wound up getting to third with two outs after a bunt by Kori Gargiulo and a single by Anna Messina, but she was unable to score as Nicole Cerasi flew out to right. The game was called due to darkness, making the final 1-1.

DiPaolo went six innings, allowed one run on six hits, struck out three and walked two. Guthy went six and one-third, allowed one run, nine hits, struck out two and walked one.

The Roadrunners return to action on Thursday, April 6 in their fourth straight doubleheader at home. This one is against Hunter College in a non-conference doubleheader and game one is scheduled to start at 3 p.m.

Featured photo courtesy of Nancy Rygiel