After a shocking loss last week to Montclair State University, Rowan needed a big bounce-back series against Stockton.
Stockton got pegged early on this season by the Profs as a team they were seeking revenge against, and Rowan delivered their retribution with a doubleheader sweep on Wednesday.
“I thought overall we did a good job,” Head Coach Kim Wilson said. “We played defense, we got good pitching on both ends and we got some good hitting.”
The Profs had to rely on their stud pitcher, Jesse DeDomenico, in the front half of the double-header as their bats were quieted by Stockton’s Victoria Torp.
Torp was tossing a changeup that was fooling the Rowan batters and kept them to a respectable two runs. But, in the short break between games, the Profs made adjustments to the off-speed pitch and tattooed the ball en route to an 11-2 mercy rule win.
“We adjusted to the pitchers,” junior Morgan Smith said. “Seeing that changeup, if you can get it, go for it. If not, let it go.”
By the second inning of the second game, Rowan had regained their form and applied the adjustments. They sprayed the ball all over, but DeDomenico and Smith were ripping the pitches to the opposite field. The third and fourth batters respectively, hit back-to-back doubles to the fence in the second frame and had completely rattled Stockton’s starter, forcing an early pitching change.
“We practice trying to hit outside balls, and letting it get deep, and just hitting it where it’s pitched,” said senior captain Damariz Mercado. “We did a real good job of implementing our practice into the game.”
With the two wins, the Profs improved their overall record to 22-2 with a 3-1 record in New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) play.
Up next for the Profs will be a doubleheader at Kean University on Saturday afternoon. The Cougars are another talented NJAC team and one of the best teams in the nation, currently slotted 13 of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association’s top 25 ranking.
They’re a star laden team. Senior Emily Sabo just recently became Kean’s all-time hit and stolen base leader, and their centerfielder Dana Knapp is on the watchlist for the National Player of the Year award.
“They’re a quality team,” Wilson said. “They’ll be a lot like [Stockton]. They’ve got some slappers and some kids that can hit for power, and a freshman pitcher that’s a lefty.”
Kean should prove to be a challenging opponent for Rowan, but the Cougars should be aware of one number if they do decide to throw their lefty against the Profs: Rowan currently leads the NJAC in batting average against left handed pitchers with a .556 mark.
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