Softball Wins Second Game; Gets Split of Doubleheader vs. Kean

Game #1 Box / Game #2 Box

Little Falls, NJ (4/24/10) –Freshman Jamie Paulino (Linden, NJ / Linden) collected an RBI single in the third inning for what turned out to be the game-winning run as Montclair State gained a split of its NJAC doubleheader with Kean University with a 3-2 victory in the second game at the MSU Softball Stadium on Saturday afternoon. In the opener junior righthander Courtney Smyth (Abington, PA / Abington) tossed a three-hit shutout as the Cougars blanked the Red Hawks, 3-0.

The split left Montclair State at 18-14 overall and more importantly 6-8 in the NJAC as the Red Hawks remain on the outside-looking-in for the NJAC Tournament. Montclair currently sits in seventh place, a game behind Kean (22-12, 7-7 NJAC) for the sixth and final spot in the conference tournament. Each team has four league games remaining.

After being stymied by Smyth in the opener, MSU scored early in the second contest plating two run in the top of the first inning. Shannon Mozek (Wayne, NJ / Wayne Valley) reached on a one out error and went to third on Megan Durkin’s (West Orange, NJ / West Orange) single. Amanda Livsey (Congers, NY / Clarkstown North) followed with a base hit to score Mozek and Kelli O’Brien’s (Edison, NJ / Edison) infield single plated Durkin as Montclair led 2-0.

Kean would tie the game in the second. Katie Yard (Hillsborough, NJ / Hillsborough) led off with a single, went to second on a sacrifice and scored on an error as the MSU lead was cut to 2-1. Two batters later Melissa Dietrich (Carteret, NJ / Carteret) added an RBI single to right as Kean knotted the game at 2-2.

MSU answered right back with a run in the top of the third. Durkin walked and moved to second on a sacrifice. After a ground out for the second out, Paulino singled back through the middle for a 3-2 Montclair State advantage.

The rest of was left up to senior righthander Elia Persico (Marlton, NJ / Cherokee), who kept the Cougars at bay in their final five at bats. Kean had two hits during that span, however both came with two outs and Persico retired the next batter to keep the lead in tact. Persico (10-7), walked one and allowed five hits. Cassie Shotwell (Dunnellen, NJ / Dunnellen) took the loss to fall to 12-5. She too gave up five hits along with three runs (one earned). Shot well struck out seven and walked three.

Allison Thiabult (Garfield, NJ / Garfield) had two hits for Kean.

In the first game, Smyth improved to 10-7 on the season as she fanned six and walked two. Freshman righty Jamie Miller (Spotswood, NJ / St. John Vianney) took the loss to fall to 8-6.

Kean got the only run it would need in the top of the first. Lindsay Kennedy (Parsippany, NJ / Parsippany) walked and went to second on a sacrifice. Montclair would get a second out, however Yard came through with an RBI single as the Cougars grabbed a 1-0 lead. Kennedy would also be involved in the other scoring for Kean, which tacked on two runs in the fifth. Kennedy singled and Alicia Banz (Carteret, NJ / Carteret) reached on an error. Allison Lizzi (Cherry Hill, NJ / Cherry Hill West) followed with a two-run double as Kean led 3-0.

Leslie Gonzalez (North Bergen, NJ / North Bergen)
had two hits for Montclair State, while Lizzi and Yard were both 2-for-4.

Montclair State returns to action on Tuesday, April 27 as they host New Jersey City University the MSU Softball Stadium beginning at 3:00 pm.