Ferranti's Blasts Lifts Softball Past Rowan in NJAC Tournament

Little Falls, NJ (5/2/08) – Senior third baseman Jackie Ferranti (Bergenfield, NJ / Bergenfield), the NJAC Co-Player of the Year, belted a two-run homer to back the pitching of conference Pitcher of the Year Carolyn McCrea (Wharton, NJ / Jefferson) as top-seeded and No. 5 ranked Montclair State ousted No. 3 seed and 19 th-ranked Rowan University, 2-1 in Game 5 of the 2008 NJAC Softball Championship Tournament as the MSU Softball Stadium on Friday afternoon.

Sophomore second baseman Megan Durkin ( West Orange, NJ / West Orange) had two hits as the Red Hawks improved to 39-3, setting a new school record for victories breaking the mark of 38 set in 1997 and equaled last year. Montclair will face fourth-seeded The College of New Jersey in Game 7 of the tournament on Saturday, May 3 at 11:00 am.

Kristina Brenner ( Vineland, NJ / Vineland) was 3-for-4 for Rowan, which fell to 31-9 on the season. The Profs, who lost their third one-run contest to Montclair in the last six days (2-1 and 6-5 on April 26), will be among the teams vying for an at-large berth to the NCAA Division III Softball Championships.

A near carbon copy of the first meeting between the two teams last Saturday, First-Team All-NJAC hurlers McCrea and Jackie Sasko (Hamilton, NJ / Steinert) battled again in another one-run decision. McCrea improved her mark to 21-2 on the season as she scattered eight hits, striking out two and walking one. Sasko fell to 19-4 despite allowing six hits with a walk and six strikeouts.

Rowan got the first opportunity in the game to put runs on the board in the top of the second as the Profs loaded the bases with three straight two-out singles, however, McCrea escaped the inning with a comebacker to the circle. In the bottom of the inning, it was Montclair’s turn as Durkin led off with a double and went to third on a passed ball. Kelly Karp ( Edison, NJ / Edison) lined ball hat centerfielder Brenner made a sensational catch on while keeping Durkin at third. Sasko ended that inning with a comebacker as the game remained scoreless.

After McCrea set down Rowan in order in the third, Montclair would crack the run column the run column as NJAC Rookie of the Year Leslie Gonzalez ( North Bergen, NJ / North Bergen) beat out an infield single with one out. Ferranti then smacked a fly ball to right-centerfield that cleared the fence for her seventh of the year and a 2-0 Montclair State lead.

Rowan cut that lead to a run in the fifth. Brenner led off with a triple to the left field wall, and after an out, Kristin Wallace ( Glassboro, NJ / Washington Township) lofted a sacrifice fly to center scoring Brenner. But that would be all the Profs would get as McCrea, after issuing a leadoff walk in the six, set down the final six hitters straight to preserve the win for the Red Hawks.