UNION, N.J. (4/10/12) – Freshman Jess Fanty drove in the go-ahead runs, as the Kean University softball team split a New Jersey Athletic Conference doubleheader with Ramapo College on Tuesday afternoon. The Cougars (16-10, 6-2 NJAC) pulled out the 5-3 win in the nightcap, after falling to Ramapo (17-5, 4-4 NJAC), 1-0, in the opener.
GAME ONE: Cougars Strand 10 Runners as Ramapo Posts 1-0 Win Behind Rothenberger Homerun
Ramapo senior Danielle Rothenberger was 2-of-3 and her solo homerun in the fourth inning was the difference, as the Cougars stranded 10 runners on base in the 1-0 loss to the Roadrunners in the opener.
The Roadrunners threatened in top of the third inning, as second baseman Amanda Kent had a one-out double and moved over to third base on the groundout. The Cougars ended the threat with the groundout to preserve the scoreless game.
In the bottom half of the inning, Kean opened the inning with back-to-back infield singles by designated player Jess Fanty (pictured left) and right-fielder Megan Cegielski. The sacrifice bunt by senior Alicia Banz moved both runners into scoring position, however the Cougars were unable to bring across a run after the ground out and strikeout ended the inning.
Rothenberger delivered the game's only run with the one-out, solo shot to left-centerfield for the 1-0 lead in the fourth inning.
The Cougars threatened again in each of the next two innings, as the Cougars once again had runners at second and third with one out in the fourth inning, before a pair of groundouts ended the inning. Kean loaded the bases in the fifth inning, however a groundout stranded the runners for the second straight inning.
Kean had one final chance in the bottom of the seventh inning with runners on first and second with one out, but Ramapo closed out the game with a groundout and fly-out for the one-run victory.
Senior right-hander Lauren Shaw (10-2) earned the win, scattering five hits and four strikeouts in the shutout.
GAME TWO: Three-Run Sixth Inning Lifts Kean to 5-3 Win
The Cougars scored the go-ahead runs with two-outs in the sixth inning to break a 2-2 tie and earn the doubleheader split with the 5-3 win in the nightcap.
Sophomore catcher Jill Martin (pictured left) was 2-of-2 with two RBI and one run scored, while rookie designated player Jess Fanty drove in the game-winning run with the two-out double in the sixth inning.
After Ramapo tied the game at 2-2 on a lead-off solo homerun by catcher Lisa Orlando in the top of the sixth inning, a two-out rally in the bottom half of the inning earned the Cougars the critical NJAC split.
Left fielder Sandra Binkiewicz and first baseman Kelly Moorehead had back-to-back, two-out walks to start the rally, before Fanty delivered the two-run double just inside the right-field line, dropping between a charging right-fielder Taylor Boffalo and second baseman Kim LaPenta. Martin followed with the double to right field to score Fanty with the insurance run and the 5-2 lead.
The Roadrunners pulled to within 5-3 in the top of the seventh inning on the RBI groundout by Boffalo and brought the tying run to the plate, before second baseman Katie Schuh closed out the win by securing the pop-up to shallow right field.
Ramapo took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning on the RBI single up the middle by designated player Danielle Rothenberger.
In the bottom half of the inning, the Cougars responded with a pair of solo homeruns. Martin led the inning off with a solo shot to left-center field, and shortstop Alicia Banz (pictured right) followed two batters later with her own homerun to centerfield for the 2-1 lead.
Freshman Courtney Yard (13-5) went the distance for the second straight game, scattering 11 hits and three runs, while striking out two batters for the win.
Fanty finished 1-of-3 with two RBI and one run scored.
LaPenta was 3-of-3 at the plate, while Rothenberger finished 2-of-3 with one RBI and left fielder Tiffany Fischer was 2-of-4. Lauren Shaw (10-3) suffered the loss in relief, pitching the final 1.2 innings, allowing two hits and three runs with two walks.
The Cougars host The College of New Jersey in NJAC action on Saturday, April 14. The doubleheader will begin at 1 p.m.