McCrea struck out 10 in six innings of work as the Red Hawks (18-2) took the opening contest 5-0. Senior third baseman Jackie Ferranti (Bergenfield, NJ / Bergenfield) belted a two-run homer in the nightcap as Montclair erased a four-run deficit with six runs in the fifth inning in an 8-5 victory.
Megan McKenna (Rockaway, NY / Midwood) belted a pair of home runs while Catherine Alves (Queens, NY / Francis Lewis) added another round-tripper and three RBI for the Hawks, who fell to 7-11 with the losses while having a four-game winning streak snapped.
In the opener, McCrea picked up her ninth win of the season (9-2) as she went the first 10 innings allowing three hits and did not walk a batter. Allyshia West ( Owen Sound , ON / West Hills Secondary ) took the loss to fall to 3-4.
The Red Hawks would get all of the scoring they would need in the second inning. Whitney Driver ( Montville, NJ / Morristown-Beard) drew a bases-loaded walk to force in the first run and Leslie Gonzalez ( North Bergen, NJ / North Bergen) singled with the bags full for another as MSU led 2-0. Ferranti stroked a two-run single to score Driver and Kelly Nance (Marlboro, NJ / Marlboro) as Montclair State built a 4-0 cushion. The Red Hawks would add another run in the fourth as Gonzalez, who finished 3-for-3 in the contest, collected her second hit of the game, stole second and moved up twice on a pair of balks for the final run.
In the nightcap, Hunter jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning as McKenna cracked the first of her two home runs off MSU starter Kelly Karp ( Edison, NJ / Edison). MSU would answer in the bottom of the third as Ferranti drew a one-out walk and Maureen Shockley (Magnolia, NJ / Triton) followed with an RBI double to tie the game at 1-1.
Hunter retook the lead in the top of the fifth. Victoria Capece ( Floral Park, NY / Mary Louis Academy) and Priscilla Gonzalez-Alices ( Brooklyn, NY / Edward R. Murrow) each singled in the infield to put two runners on. After an out and a passed ball moved both runners up, Alves connected for her second home run of the season, a three-run shot putting the Hawks in front 4-1. Two batters later, McKenna came through with her second homer of the game as Hunter moved in front, 5-1.
But just as quickly MSU responded in the bottom of the inning. Gonzalez singled with one out and Ferranti followed with a two-run homer, her fourth, to pull the Red Hawks within 5-3. MSU would then load the bases and tied the game at 5-5 on a Hunter error that scored pinch-runner Briana Hopkins ( West Warwick, RI / West Warwick) and Jennifer Jimenez ( Linden, NJ / Linden). Sophomore first baseman Amanda Livsey (Congers, NY / Congers) gave Montclair the lead with a two-run single and the Red Hawks added one more in the sixth on an RBI single by Jimenez for the final margin.
Karp would get the victory as she moved to 7-0 on the season. The lefty allowed five runs and six hits, striking out three before McCrea came in and shut the door with a scoreless sixth and seventh innings to earn her third save of the year. West (3-5) took the loss for Hunter.
Shockley and Jimenez each had two hits for Montclair State while McKenna and Capece each recorded two for the Hawks.Montclair State returns to action on Saturday, April 5 as the Red Hawks travel to Camden, NJ to face Rutgers-Camden in an NJAC doubleheader beginning at 1:00 pm.