Softball Splits Key NJAC Doubleheader with Camden

Little Falls, NJ (4/25/09) – Junior third baseman Steph Skroski (Stratford, NJ / Sterling) singled home what turned out to be the game-winning run in the opener for Rutgers-Camden while Montclair State’s Jennifer Jimenez (Linden, NJ / Linden) and Kelly Nance (Marlboro, NJ / Marlboro) each had two RBI in the second game as the Scarlet Raptors and Red Hawks split a New Jersey Athletic Conference doubleheader at the MSU Softball Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

MSU stands at 22-14 overall and more importantly 8-8 in the NJAC, two games in front of Rutgers-Camden (21-17, 6-10 NJAC) and a game ahead of Richard Stockton for the sixth and final spot in the conference tournament, which gets underway on Tuesday, April 28.

Both teams have doubleheaders to play on Sunday, April 26. Montclair State is at New Jersey City University at 1:00 pm. While Rutgers-Camden and Richard Stockton square off in Camden at 4:00 pm. The Scarlet Raptors need to pull off a sweep and have MSU lose twice to have any chance of making the league’s championship tournament.

In the opener, both teams took advantage of errors as Rutgers-Camden took a 2-0 lead in the second as Nikki DiVece (Pine Hill, NJ /Overbrook Regional) scored on an error and Vicki D’Anduono (Lanoka Harbo, NJ / Lacey) later stole third and took home on run down between first and second.

Megan Durkin (West Orange, NJ / West Orange) cut the lead in half for MSU with an RBI single in the bottom half of the inning, but the Scarlet Raptors got the run back in the hitrd as Beth Speakman (Sicklerville, NJ / Timber Creek) walked and evntaully scored on another Red Hawkr error to make the score 3-1.

A wild pitch in the bottom of third allowed MSU’s Shannon Mozek (Wayne, NJ / Wayne Valley) to score cutting the lead to 3-2, but Skroski’ RBI single in the fifth put the Raptors back up by two.  Montclair would tie the game in the sixth with the help of three Rutgers-Camden miscues. Leslie Gonzalez (North Bergen, NJ / North Bergen) and Mozek each reached on errors and Gonzalez scored a she made a successful swipe of home. The third error in the inning allowed Mozek to cross the plate as the game was tied at 4-4.

In the eighth with the tiebreaker in effect, Skroski singled to center scoring Brooke Kennen (Mt. Laurel, NJ / Lenape) for a 5-4 lead. Skroski took second on the play and went to third on a wild pitch. Amanda D’Anduono (Lanoka Harbor, NJ / Lacey) lofted a sacrifice fly for the final run.

Natalie Powell (Williamstown, NJ / Williamstown) picked up the victory as she improved to 12-10. Powell allowed four runs (two earned) and six hits, striking out six and walking two. Kelly Karp (Edison, NJ / Edison) took the loss. Karp (10-8) gave up six runs (two earned) and five hits, walked two and fanned seven.

Skroski had two hits for Rutgers-Camden while Adrian Rastocny (Colonia, NJ / Colonia) was 2-for-4 for MSU.

In the second game, Montclair State jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first. Nance had a two-run single and later scored as the Raptors committed the second of their two errors in the inning.

Montclair would add three more runs in the fourth to take a 6-0 lead. Mozek got the first RBI with a single and Jimenez added a double to center scoring two more. After Rutgers-Camden got a run back in the bottom of the fourth, the Red Hawks tacked on one more run in the seventh on a RBI double from Durkin.

Speakman accounted for the final two runs, a two-run homer, her fifth of the season.

Elia Persico (Marlton, NJ / Cherokee) got the victory to raise her record to 3-1. Persico allowed nine hits and three runs. Powell (12-11) took the loss.

Nance finished 3-for-3 while Gonzalez, Mozek and Durkin all had two hits apiece for MSU.