Kissimme, FL (3/14/10) – The Montclair State softball team dropped the first two games in its appearance at the Rebel Spring Games as the Red Hawks fell to Nazareth College, 3-2 and Millikin University, 9-7.
Against Nazareth, the Red Hawks took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning as Kelly Nance (Marlboro, NJ / Marlboro) walked to open the inning and went to second on an error. Nance moved to third on an out and scored as Amanda Livsey (Congers, NY / Clarkstown North) singled to right field.
But Nazareth came back in the bottom of the inning with three runs. Katilin Graham tied the game with an RBI ground out and an error allowed Polly Muehlenkamp to score with the go-ahead run. Katie Valerio singled in the infield to score the final run as Nazareth led 3-1.
Nance would factor in the second MSU run as well drawing another leadoff walk to begin the top of the sixth inning. She would advance to second on Megan Durkin’s (West Orange, NJ / West Orange) single to center and went to third as Livsey sacrificed both runners over. Nance scored on a passed ball to make the score 3-2, but Montclair could not get the tying run home.
Senior righthander Elia Persico (Marlton, NJ / Cherokee)
suffered the loss as she slowed three runs (one earned) and three hits
in six innings. Persico struck out four and walked two. Freshman Tori Ferrante (Edison, NJ / JP Stevens) went 2-for-3 in her collegiate debut.
In the second game, Montclair fell behind as Millikin scored twice in the top of the first. But the Red Hawks tied the game in the second. Heather Bergman (Berkeley Heights, NJ / Gov. Livingston) singled with two outs and stole second. Jamie Paulino (Linden, NJ / Linden) walked and both runners moved up a base as MSU pulled off a successful double steal. Junior Leslie Gonzalez (North Bergen, NJ / North Bergen) brought both runners home as she lined a single to center knotting the contest at 2-2.
The teams traded runs in the fifth with as Bergman singled in a run to tie the game at 3-3. After Millikin scored twice in the top of the sixth the Red Hawks again answered with two of their own the manufactured way. Gonzalez scored on an out and Ferrante crossed the plate on a passed ball as the game was tied for a third time at 5-5.
But Millikin would get four runs in the top of the seventh to take a 9-5 lead. The Red Hawks would try to rally in its final at bat and scored twice as Gonzalez and Shannon Mozek (Wayne, NJ / Wayne Valley) each drew bases-loaded walks to trim the lead to 9-7. But that would be as close as the game would get as Millikin’s Whitney Schafman retired the next to hitters to end the game.
Bergman finished 4-for-4 in the game while Paulino and Gonzalez had two hits apiece. Freshman Jamie Miller (Spotswood, NJ / St. John Vianney) took the loss in her first collegiate contest.
MSU continues action in the Rebel Spring Games on Monday, March 15 as they take on St. Norbert and Springfield at 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm, respectively.