Head coach Kim Wilson ended the day engulfed by her players inside the pitcher’s circle, taking pictures with three meaningful balloons. One of the gold balloons was a seven, the others zeroes, meant to mark the 700 career wins milestone that the skipper passed on Thursday afternoon when the No. 20 ranked Rowan softball team knocked off Neumann University in two games.
Wilson came into the season at 12th in Division III in wins among active coaches. She holds a 701-276 career record in 26 seasons.
“It’s a good day, I’m excited. I actually didn’t know going into the day, so it’s cool,” Wilson said following the games. “It just means I’ve been coaching a long time.”
The Profs (15-5) needed only 10 innings and two hours and change to complete the doubleheader sweep of Neumann in their home opener Thursday. It was a swift 9-0 beat down in the opener in Glassboro, and an equally dominant 10-0 decision in the second game.
“We expected to only play 10 innings today. We wanted to just go right after them,” senior pitcher Beth Ann Hyland said.
Hyland turned in a stellar performance in the front end of the double header. The dominant righty had the Knights quickly returning to the bench all day, racking up 11 strikeouts and only conceding one hit over five innings of work.
Only two Knights saw time on the basepaths while Hyland was in the circle – one came on a passed ball after a strikeout.
“I didn’t really think about it, I just spun the pitches like I know how,” Hyland said. “I know I had a lot of strikeouts today, I was expecting to have a lot. I think it’s a career high.”
It was. Her previous best in a game was 10 strikeouts which she hit the last two seasons.
The pitching staff for the brown and gold carried the high-quality play into the second game, where Wilson employed her three-arm unit.
MacKenzie Juodaitis, the reigning New Jersey Athletic Conference Rookie Pitcher of the Week, got the start. The freshman struck out four of the 11 batters she faced in three innings. Sophomore Ashley Lesch and senior Allison Nolan came on in relief to secure the Profs’ second-consecutive shutout.
Equally as impressive as the pitching was Rowan’s offense. The Profs posted staggering offensive numbers at the Rebel Spring Games, and that potency carried over to their first games in Glassboro.
The team ripped the ball all day, drilling six doubles, a triple and three homeruns in the two games combined.
Freshman second baseman Carly Anderson knocked in two runs in each game and seemed to have regained her early season form. She was aggressive in the box, forced the pitcher to work and had multiple strong at-bats.
“She’s hitting within herself again,” Wilson said.
Game 1: Rowan 9, Neumann 0
Game 2: Rowan 10, Neumann 0
@ Haverford College (doubleheader), Thursday 3 pm
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