The Red Hawks needed to win twice to claim the league title, and got the first game 1-0 behind McCrea’s no-hitter before coming back with a 6-1 triumph to capture MSU’s first NJAC Championship since 1997 and its third overall.
Ellen Seavers (
On Saturday, it was New Jersey recording a 1-0 win over MSU behind righthander Ashley Minervini (Cliffside Park, NJ / Cliffside Park), who out-dueled McCrea for the eight-inning win. On Sunday, it was McCrea’s turn as she tossed her third no-hitter of the season, striking out five while facing two batters over the minimum. McCrea set down 16 of the first 17 batters she faced, however Minervini was also up to challenge as she allowed just five hits, with three strikeouts and one walk.
After tossing three straight shutouts to open the tournament, Minervini was finally touched for run in bottom of the third ending a string of 23 consecutive scoreless tournament innings. The Red Hawks put runners on first and second with two out when Megan Durkin (West Orange, NJ / West Orange) laced a double to right field scoring Jennifer Jimenez (Linden, NJ / Linden) with what turned out to be the lone run of the game.
The rest was left to McCrea, who improved to 22-3 with the victory while Minervini fell to 15-9.
McCrea would get the call again in the second game and was just as sharp retiring the first six hitters before allowing a leadoff single by pitcher Alex Sietsma (Glen Rock, NJ / Glen Rock) in the bottom of the third. But that hit would be wiped away as MSU turned the first of two double plays in the game and McCrea fanned the next hitter to keep the game scoreless.
The Red Hawks would extend that lead to 5-0 in the fifth. Whitney Driver (
New Jersey would finally reach McCrea in the sixth as Kelly Armstrong (Jackson, NJ / Jackson Memorial) singled home a run, however the Red Hawks answered in the top of the seventh as Durkin collected her third RBI of the game with a single to give MSU the 6-1 lead.
McCrea finished with four strikeouts and a walk as she picked up her 23rd win of the season and the 73rd of her career tying her with Dina DeAquino (1986-88) and Crystal Sweeney (2001-04). Sophomore Elia Persico (
Jimenez and Durkin were each 2-for-4 for the Red Hawks.