Softball Drops Two Against Ramapo in Key NJAC Doubleheader

Game #1 Box / Game #2 Box

Mahwah, NJ (4/26/11) – The Montclair State softball team suffered its first-back-to-back losses in over month on Tuesday and it couldn’t have come at a more inopportune time.

The Red Hawks were swept by Ramapo College 1-0 and 6-1 falling into a first-place tie in the NJAC standings. Montclair (25-7) is now tied with William Paterson at 13-3 in the conference with the Roadrunners and Rowan both a game behind at 12-4.

Montclair will face the Pioneers on Saturday, April 30 at the MSU Softball Stadium and would need a sweep to win the regular-season title and with it the top seed and home field for the NJAC Tournament which begins on Tuesday, May 3. A split or two losses could potentially put Montclair on the road in the first round on Tuesday as the top three teams earn home contests before the tournament shifts to the highest seed for the weekend.

Not since March 17 when the Red Hawks fell to Farmingdale State and Springfield College at the Rebel Spring Games in Florida had MSU suffered back-to-back losses.

That was until junior righthander Lauren Shaw (Wayne, NJ / Wayne Valley) handcuffed the Red Hawks allowing five hits with three strikeouts as she out-dueled Alex Hill (Parsippany, NJ / Parsippany Hills) for the victory.

Hill was solid again, but made one mistake allowing a solo home run to Caitlin Smith with one out in the fifth inning for the game’s only run. Hill (15-3) also gave up five hits, struck out six and walked one as she lost her first decision after 12 consecutive wins.

Montclair State’s best threat against Shaw came in the fourth as Hill singled and Kelli O’Brien (Edison, NJ / Edison) doubled to put runners at second and third. But Montclair could not come up with the big hit as Shaw got a pair of ground outs to end the threat.

Senior Leslie Gonzalez (North Bergen, NJ / North Bergen) went 1-for-3 collecting her 200th career hit in the loss. Gonzalez became the ninth player in MSU history to reach that plateau.

In the second game, Ramapo jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first only to be matched by Montclair in the bottom of the inning as O’Brien plated a run with a sacrifice fly knotting the game at a run apiece.

But Ramapo retook the lead with a run in the fourth and broke the contest open with a four-run sixth inning for the final margin.

Sophomore Jamie Miller (Spotswood, NJ / St. John Vianney) suffered the loss falling to 10-4.

Montclair is scheduled to play on Thursday, April 28 against NYU-Polytechnic at the MSU Softball Stadium. The doubleheader, which has already been postponed twice this season due to weather, is slated to begin at 3:00 pm.