Rowan Softball Escapes Two Close Games Against Rutgers-Camden Victorious

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Rowan pitcher Emily August throwing a pitch against Stockton on March 27. August was the winning pitcher in the first game, striking out nine batters, against Rutger-Camden on April 27. - Staff Photographer / Nicholas Feldman

Despite Rutgers-Camden’s 6-10 record, they held Rowan softball to only two runs in their doubleheader on Tuesday afternoon. The Rowan University Profs defeated the Rutgers-Camden Scarlet Raptors 1-0 in eight innings in the first game and 1-0 in the second game of the doubleheader. 

It was Rowan’s Senior Night, as they honored the class of 2021 seniors Sonia Sharma and Mackenzie Short. The Profs even honored the class of 2020 seniors Jesse DeDomenico and Lauren Shannon, who were standout pitchers for Rowan and did not get to have a senior night last season due to COVID-19. 

In the top of the first inning, the Profs got off to a shaky start, with errors by junior right fielder Mariah Wysocki and freshman shortstop Payton MacNair, allowing runners on first and second. A pop-up and a strikeout ended the inning, and the Scarlet Raptors left two runners on base without getting a run across the board. 

In the top of the second inning, with the Profs back in the field, senior pitcher Emily August dropped a pop-up, which allowed another baserunner for the Scarlet Raptors, as Cate Petrucelli was able to reach second base. Once again, Rutgers-Camden was not able to capitalize with runners in scoring position, and after two innings, Rowan and Rutgers-Camden were scoreless. 

In the top of the fifth inning, sophomore third baseman Breanna Bryant singled, and MacNair reached safely on a bunt attempt, leading to runners on first and second with no outs. Sharma popped out, and junior left fielder Morgan Zane walked, which allowed bases to be loaded. Junior catcher Korie Hague came up to bat and hit into a double play. The Profs were unable to push runners across the plate, and after five innings, the game was still scoreless. 

Despite a double by Wysocki in the bottom of the sixth inning, Rowan once again was not able to push a run across the board. This matchup was coming down to a pitchers’ duel as pitcher August ended up finishing the game with nine strikeouts, getting the win on the mound, and moved to 11-2 on the season. The Scarlet Raptors pitcher Sarah Byrnes struck out six and walked six batters in this matchup. 

Head Coach Kim Wilson describes the dominance of Rowan’s pitching this semester. 

“I think our pitching staff has exceeded our expectations,” Wilson said. “They’re just consistent and not flashy, but they show up.” 

In the top of the seventh inning, after neither team was able to score in regulation, the game headed into extra innings. This season, each inning in extra innings, a runner will start on second base, and after a bunt and the runner moving to third base, the Scarlet Raptors were unable to score. In the bottom of the eighth inning, senior DH Kelly Duffy grounded out to second base, allowing freshman pinch runner Sam Marasheski to move to third. Wysocki headed up to the plate, and singled to left field, allowing Marasheski to score, and Rowan won 1-0 in a walk off hit in the bottom of the eighth inning. 

In the second game of the doubleheader, freshman pitcher Cat Thomas got the start on the mound for the Profs. It was once again a pitchers’ duel in this game, as Thomas finished with two strikeouts, earning another win (7-2), giving up five hits in her 6.2 innings pitched. Rutgers-Camden pitcher Byrnes got the start in both games, and in this outing, she struck out three and gave up eight hits, as she lost both games in this matchup (6-10). 

There was no score through four innings in this matchup. In the bottom of the fifth inning, in the first at-bat of the inning, MacNair homered to left field, giving the Profs the lead 1-0. Sharma and Zane each had two hits in this contest and reached base in this inning, but the Profs were unable to get any more runs across the board. 

August came in with one out left in the top of the seventh inning. She struck out Alexis Davis to end the game, as she earned her second save of the season, and Rowan won 1-0 once again. 

Wilson once again discusses the success that the Rowan pitching staff has had this season. 

“They put teams on their heels, so it’s a good thing,” Wilson said. 

The homerun in the fifth inning was the only score of the game, and before the game, MacNair discussed the success that she has had at the plate this season. 

“I’m staying more patient during my at-bats, making sure I’m waiting for my pitch,” MacNair said. “I’m seeing the ball more, which is allowing me to hit the ball where it’s pitched.” 

MacNair is batting .430 and has a slugging percentage of .667 this season. She also leads the team with 40 hits so far this season. 

Rowan defeated Rutgers-Camden 1-0 in both contests, they are 13-1 at home and 23-5 on the season. On Saturday, the Profs will close out the regular season with a doubleheader at Montclair State, as they are heading into the NJAC (New Jersey Athletic Conference) Championship Tournament.

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