Softball Winning Streak at 21 as MSU Sweeps NJCU

Little Falls, NJ (4/15/08) – Junior lefthander Kelly Karp (Edison, NJ / Edison) spun a two-hit shutout while junior Jennifer Jimenez (Linden, NJ / Linden) and senior Cheryl Bodak (South River, NJ / South River) each belted home runs in the nightcap as No. 12 Montclair State stretched its winning streak to 21 games with an NJAC doubleheader sweep of New Jersey City at the MSU Softball Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.

Sophomore Elia Persico (Marlton, NJ / Cherokee) pitched out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the seventh as Montclair took the opener, 5-4. The Red Hawks then scored six times in the first inning en route to a 9-0 victory in Game 2. Montclair moved to 28-2 overall with the two wins while remaining unbeaten in the NJAC at 12-0.

Sophomore Lacey Skowronski (Bayonne, NJ / Holy Family Academy) went 3-for-3 with an RBI in the opener for the Gothic Knights, who fell to 13-15 overall, 4-8 in the NJAC.

In the first game, the Gothic Knights struck for two run in the top of the first as Tara Perrucci (Wallington, NJ /Wallington) singled, moved to second on sacrifice and scored as Skowronski doubled to left field. Christina Prospero (Secaucus, NJ / Secaucus) added an RBI single to give NJCU a 2-0 advantage.

Montclair State would erase that deficit in the bottom of the second loading the basses on three straight NJCU errors. Freshman Leslie Gonzalez (North Bergen, NJ / North Bergen) delivered an RBI single with one out to bring home the first run, and after a strikeout, senior Maureen Shockley (Magnolia, NJ / Triton) blasted a grand slam to right-centerfield giving the Red Hawks a 5-2 lead.

The game would remain that way until the top of the seventh. Susie Matsutani (Gallup, NM / Gallup) reached on an error and Skowronski doubled before Christen Hall (East Rutherford, NJ / Becton Regional) drew a walk to load the bases. Prospero walked to force in a run and a free pass to Andrea Delucrezia (Belleville, NJ / St. Mary’s (Rutherford)made the score 5-4. Persico was summoned from the bullpen and fanned the first two hitters before getting a comebacker for the final out giving Montclair State the victory. It was Persico’s first save of the season.

Senior righthander Carolyn McCrea (Wharton, NJ / Jefferson) picked up the win as she improved to 15-2. McCrea allowed seven hits, struck out five and walked a season-high seven batters. Delucrezia took the loss (4-10) as she went just one inning giving up four runs, all unearned, as NJCU committed four errors in the contest.  

After being held to just three hits in the first game, Montclair equaled that plus one more in the nightcap as it jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the top of the first. Freshman Kacie Neurouter (Wayne, NJ / Wayne Valley) singled in two runs and Karp helped her own cause with an RBI base hit as MSU went up 3-0. Gonzalez plated the fourth run with a single and Jackie Ferranti (Bergenfield, NJ / Bergenfield) walked with the bases loaded for a five-run advantage. Whitney Driver (Montville, NJ / Morristown-Beard) scored on a passed ball for the final run of the inning.

That would be all Karp would need as she was perfect through the first six innings before allowing a leadoff single to Danielle Delfino (Jersey City, NJ / County Prep) in the seventh. Delfino would be gunned down stealing for the second out and after allowing a single to Matsutani, Karp got a flyout to complete her first shutout of the season as she improved to 11-0.

Montclair’s final runs came courtesy of the home run as Jimenez connected for her sixth round-tripper of the season in the fourth while Bodak belted a two-run shot in the seventh.

Sophomore Megan Durkin (West Orange, NJ / West Orange) was 3-for-3 in the game while Jimenez, Neurouter, and Amanda Livsey (Congers, NY / Congers) each had two hits for MSU.

Montclair State returns to action on Thursday, April 17 as the Red Hawks travel to Madison, NJ for a 3:00 pm doubleheader with Drew University. NJCU will host the FDU-Florham at home on Wednesday, April 16 at 3:00 pm.