Softball Sweeps Past Hunter in Home Opener

Little Falls, NJ (3/31/10) – Freshman righthander Jamie Miller (Spotswood, NJ / St. John Vianney) tossed a two-hit shutout in the night cap while senior second baseman Megan Durkin (West Orange, NJ / West Orange) and freshman Tori Ferrante (Edison, NJ / JP Stevens) each drove in three runs as Montclair State swept past Hunter College in its home opener, 11-3 and 8-0 on Wednesday afternoon.

Junior centerfielder Leslie Gonzalez (North Bergen, NJ / North Bergen) went 3-for-6 with a pair of RBI for the Red Hawks, who have won three straight and are now over the .500 mark at 8-6 on the year.

Jacqueline Frank (Broad Channel, NY / Stella Maris) had two hits and double for Hunter, which fell to 8-4.

In the opener, Montclair led 1-0 after two as Kelly O’Brien (Edison, NJ / Edison) was hit by a pitch to lead off and moved to second on a single by Heather Bergman (Berkeley Heights, NJ / Gov. Livingston) before scoring on Kelly Nance’s (Marlboro, NJ / Marlboro) base hit through the middle of the infield.

Hunter tied the game in the fourth Megan McKenna (Rockaway, NY / Midwood) drew a one out walk and stole second before eventually scoring on Arielle Zieff’s (Staten Island, NY / Port Richmond) RBI single to center tying the game at 1-1.

Montclair then blew the game open in the fourth with eight runs as it sent 11 batters to the plate while also taking advantage of three Hunter errors. Gonzalez started things off with a single to open the inning and scored as Amanda Livsey (Congers, NY / Clarkstown North) doubled. Stephanie Szeliga (South Plainfield, NJ / South Plainfield) had an RBI single as did Durkin and Ferrante. O’Brien added a run-scoring single as well before Gonzalez wrapped up the scoring with an RBI triple as MSU led 9-1.

Hunter got two back in the fifth as KayTee Bauer (Bronx, NY / Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy) and McKenna each collected RBI singles to trim the deficit to 9-3. But the Red Hawks answered with two in their half of the frame as Ferrante plated two with a single to left scoring Szeliga and Livsey for the final margin.

The offensive output was more than enough for senior righthander Elia Persico (Marlton, NJ / Cherokee). Persico squared her record at 4-4 as she allowed three runs – one earned – and five hits, striking out three and walking one. Stephanie Damroth (West Babylon, NY / West Babylon) took the loss to fall toe 4-2.

Gonzalez and Szeliga each had two hits for Montclair, which collected 11 for the contest.

The nightcap belonged to Miller, who fired her first shutout of her career. Miller (4-1) fanned four and did not walk a batter. Lauren Stensland (Babylon, NY / West Babylon) suffered the loss to fall to 4-2.

Miller would get all the support she would need in the first inning as the Red Hawks took a 1-0 lead on O’Brien’s RBI triple that scored Durkin.

MSU widened that lead to 5-0 in the second. Shannon Mozek (Wayne, NJ / Wayne Valley) stroked a two-run double while Szeliga crossed the plate on a passed ball giving Montclair a four-run advantage.  Durkin capped the inning with a run-scoring double. The Red Hawks added one more in the third on sacrifice bunt from Livsey that scored Bergman. Durkin and Gonzalez each had RBI doubles in the fourth to complete the Red Hawks scoring.

Every hitter in the MSU lineup had at lead one hit with Durkin finishing 2-for-3.

The Red Hawks are back in action on Friday, April 2 as they open up New Jersey Athletic Conference play. MSU travels to Ewing to face The College of New Jersey in a 2:00 pm matchup.