Ferranti, Durkin Lead Softball Sweep of Rutgers-Newark

Newark, NJ (4/2/08) - Senior third baseman Jackie Ferranti (Bergenfield, NJ/Bergenfield) and sophomore second baseman Megan Durkin (West Orange, NJ/West Orange) collected four hits apiece as Montclair State rolled to a 7-0 and 13-2 New Jersey Athletic Conference sweep of Rutgers-Newark on Alumni Field.

Ferranti went four for five, scored five runs and delivered an RBI double in each game while Durkin finished four for seven while scoring three runs as Montclair upped its winning streak to nine straight.  Durkin had a double and an RBI triple in the opener before contributing a two-run single in the nightcap.

The Red Hawks (16-2, NJAC 4-0) got six-hit, six-strikeout pitching from senior righthander Carolyn McCrea (Wharton, NJ/Jefferson Township) in the open while sophomore Elia Persico (Marlton, NJ/Cherokee) came on in the third inning of game two to get the win, going three full innings without giving up a run in the mercy-run shortened contest. McCrea (8-2) tossed her 24 th career shutout as she moved into second place on the all-time MSU list passing Crystal Sweeney (23 from 2001-2004). McCrea struck out six and walked two as she surrendered six singles.

Freshman centerfielder Jessica Zelaya (Kearny, NJ/Kearny) went two for four for the Scarlet Raiders (3-17, NJAC 0-4) in the opener and walked twice and score a run in the second game senior shortstop Charlotte Labate (North Plainfield, NJ/North Plainfield) had an RBI single to cap a two-run third inning for Rutgers-Newark in the second game.

Ferranti gave MSU a 1-0 lead in the third inning as she laced a run-scoring double down the left field line to score Leslie Gonzalez ( North Bergen, NJ / North Bergen). Shockley brought home Ferranti with a ground out. The Red Hawks added two more runs in the fifth on an RBI triple by Durkin who then scored on an error as Montclair extended the lead to 4-0. Whitney Driver (Montville, NJ / Morristown-Beard) and Gonzalez each collected RBI singles in the sixth and the final MSU run came home in the seventh as Cheryl Bodak (South River, NJ / South River) registered a pinch-hit RBI single.

Ferranti, Durkin and Gonzalez each had two hits in the Red Hawks’ 10-hit attack.

In Game Two, Ferranti walked and senior centerfielder Maureen Shockley (Magnolia, NJ/Triton) hit a two-run homer just ahead of junior shortstop Jennifer Jimenez’s (Linden, NJ/Linden) fourth home run of the year as Montclair State jumped out to a quick 3-0 start in the bottom of the first in game two before a batter was retired. Leading 4-0, Montclair added three more runs in the second on a two-run single by Durkin and RBI by Kelly Karp ( Edison, NJ / Edison). After Rutgers-Newark scored twice in the top of the third, MSU answered with six runs, including a two-run single by Kacie Neurouter (Wayne, NJ / Wayne Valley) and a two-run triple by Karp.

Karp was 3-for-3 at the plate while Ferranti, Jimenez, Durkin and Driver all had two hits apiece for MSU.

The Red Hawks host Hunter in a non-conference doubleheader on Thursday at 3:30 while Rutgers-Newark is at Richard Stockton at 1 p.m. on Saturday for an NJAC doubleheader.