Softball Splits with WPU, Gets No. 2 Seed in NJAC Tournament

Game #1 Box / Game #2 Box

Little Falls, NJ (4/30/11) – Freshman second baseman Katie Muglia (South Plainfield, NJ / South Plainfield) drove in both runs for Montclair State in the opener while William Paterson used a five-run fourth inning to erase a deficit in the second game as the Red Hawks and Pioneers split their New Jersey Athletic Conference doubleheader at the MSU Softball Stadium on Saturday.

Montclair State (26-8) won the opener 2-1 before the Pioneers (24-8) rallied for an 8-5 victory in the second game.  

A sweep by either team would have made Montclair or William Paterson the top seed in the NJAC Tournament, which begins on Tuesday, May 3. Instead both teams finished tied with Rowan at 14-4 and the Profs secured the No. 1 seed by virtue of its head-to-head record against MSU and WPU (3-1). Montclair State finished 2-2 in the tiebreaker and earned the No. 2 seed with the Pioneers claiming the No. 3 seed.

The Red Hawks will host No. 5 seed The College of New Jersey on Tuesday in the opening round while William Paterson faces No. 4 seed Ramapo in Wayne. The entire tournament will then shift to Glassboro, NJ for the weekend.

In the opener, Muglia came up with the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth inning after William Paterson tied the contest in the top half. Leslie Gonzalez (North Bergen, NJ / North Bergen) led off with a triple down the right field line. Muglia followed with a single to center scoring Gonzalez for the 2-1 lead.

William Paterson would threaten in the seventh with two outs. Lindsey Naldony (Belford, NJ / Middletown North) doubled and Jenna Vitale (Kenilworth, NJ / David Brearley) was walked intentionally. Freshman righty Alex Hill (Parsippany, NJ / Parsippany Hills) then got Heather Mendez (Basking Ridge, NJ / Ridge) to bounce into a fielder’s choice to end the game.

Hill (16-3) earned the win allowing eight hits, striking out 12 and walking two. Michelle Graham (Hawthorne, NJ / Hawthorne) took the loss falling to 11-4. Graham struck out one and gave up six hits.

Muglia was 2-for-3, including an RBI single in the third that gave Montclair a 1-0 lead. Danielle Capozzi (Wanaque, NJ / Lakeland Regional) tied the game for the Pioneers in the sixth with a bases loaded walk.

Naldony and Jessica Warner (Runnemede, NJ / Triton) had two hits apiece for the Pioneers.

In the second game, William Paterson jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning as Naldony doubled and eventually scored on a steal of home as the Pioneers successfully executed the double steal. Lauren Bogart (West Milford, NJ / West Milford), who was on the front-end of that play, later scored on an error as William Paterson took the two-run advantage.

The Red hawks would come back with five runs in the third to take the lead. Dana Amato (Hillsdale, NJ / Pascack Valley) singled home the first run and Heather Bergman (Berkeley Heights, NJ / Gov. Livingston) followed with a two-run double as MSU took a 3-2 lead. Kelli O’Brien (Edison, NJ / Edison) had an RBI single and Hill lofted a sacrifice fly for the final run as Montclair led 5-2.

William Paterson got a run back in the bottom of the third on an RBI single by Vitale and then put a five-spot on the board in the fourth. Raquel Roder (Hoboken, NJ / Hoboken) had an RBI single and Katelyn Miele (Flanders, NJ / Pope John XXIII) singled in a run tying the game at 5-5. The Pioneers loaded the bases and Vitale lifted a fly ball to centerfield that would go for an error clearing the bases as William Paterson took an 8-5 advantage.

Graham, who came in relief in the third inning, made that hold up as she retired nine of the final 10 batters to earn the victory (12-4). Graham tossed the final 4.2 innings allowing just two hits. Sophomore righthander Jamie Miller (Spotswood, NJ / St. John Vianney) took the loss falling to 10-5.

Miele and Naldony each had two hits for William Paterson. Bergman and Muglia were 1-for-3 apiece for Montclair State.