Softball Knocked off by TCNJ in NJAC Tournament, 1-0

Box Score

Little Falls, NJ (5/3/11) – Junior righthander Lauren Fitzsimmons (Bridgewater, NJ / Bridgewater-Raritan) pitched a complete-game, three-hit shutout and fifth-seeded The College of New Jersey got an unearned run in the top of the ninth inning as the Lions upset second-seeded Montclair State, 1-0 in the opening round of the NJAC Tournament at the MSU Softball Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.

The Lions now advance and will face third-seeded William Paterson in the 3:00 pm contest as the tournament now shifts to Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ for the remainder of the tournament which begins on Friday, May 6. Montclair State will face the host Profs in the first elimination game of the tournament at 11:00 am.

Fitzsimmons (9-3) outdueled MSU freshman righthander Alex Hill (Parsippany, NJ / Parsippany Hills) as the Lions avenged a pair of losses to the Red Hawks at the same venue on April 9. 

Fitzsimmons struck out seven and worked around six walks as she allowed three hits, none through the first six innings. Hill was just as effective striking out three and walking one as she fell to 16-4. She allowed a leadoff single in the game and then retired 19 of 20 batters as the game remained scoreless.

Montclair got its first hit in the sixth and quickly moved the runner to second base on a sacrifice. However Fitzsimmons got a pair of fly balls to end the threat. TCNJ had its chance in the top of the seventh as Kelly Hommen (Ridgewood, NJ / Ridgewood) led off with a double. But the Lions could not execute the bunt and Hill worked her way out of the jam.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Red Hawks’ Shannon Mozek (Wayne, NJ / Wayne Valley) doubled down the left field line, but could go no further as a pair of fly outs and a strikeout following an intentional walk ended that chance. 

After a scoreless eighth, Crystal Lee (Rockaway, NJ / Morris Knolls) led off the TCNJ ninth inning with a single through the right side of the infield. Again the Lions failed to move the runner over on the sacrifice however Lee would come around to score in a bizarre manner. Lee stole second base and on the throw down the ball glanced off her helmet and spun into left center. Lee scampered to her feet and scored from second for what turned out to be the only run of the game.

Fitzsimmons made that hold up as she retired Montclair State in order in the ninth.