#13 Softball Takes Both Games to Reach NJAC Final

EWING, N.J. (5/4/19) – Cayleen Rizo finished 3-for-4 with three RBI's and three runs scored as the third seed Kean University softball team eliminated both Montclair State University and Rowan University on the same day to reach tomorrow's New Jersey Athletic Conference championship.

Kean 6, Montclair State 3

The Cougars (36-6) scored five runs over two innings to help Kean stay alive and eliminate the Red Hawks (29-14) with a 6-3 victory in the NJAC Tournament.  

Katie Debbie finished 3-for-4 with an RBI, while Erin Hollyfield went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI.

For the second straight game, Kean took an early 1-0 lead in the first on a sacrifice fly by Jacqueline Riley which allowed Olivia Zengel to score. The Cougars held the lead until the fourth, when Montclair's Sam DiClement gave the Red Hawks a 3-1 lead on a three run homer to center field. Kean answered with two runs in the bottom half of the inning to even everything at 3-3 on a Debbie RBI single and an O. Zengel bases loaded walk.

The Cougars hot bats continued into the fifth as Kean added three runs on five hits to increase their advantage to 6-3.  The Red Hawks never threaten in the final two innings as MSU only tallied one hit.

Riley improved to 16-1 in the circle with three strikeouts in the complete game victory.

Kean 5, Rowan 2

The Cougars (37-6) advanced to tomorrow's NJAC final with a 5-2 victory that eliminated the defending champion Profs (30-12).

Rizo finished 2-for-2 with two RBI's and a run scored, while Caroline Ratti and Kaitlin Stahlbrand each tallied a hit and an RBI.

The Profs were able to cross the dish first with a bases loaded RBI walk in the second. The Cougars tied the contest at 1-1 in the third when Rizo smacked an RBI single up the middle to drive in Stahlbrand from second. Kean took a 2-1 lead in the fourth after a Julie Raba fly ball to left field was miss played by Morgan Zane, which allowed Ratti to score from third as the ball rolled into foul territory.

After Rowan knotted everything at 2-2 in the fifth, the Cougars scored two runs in the bottom half of the inning on defensive errors. Rizo scored first after a throwing error by Carly Anderson put Kean in front at 3-2.  Debbie, who reached during the Anderson throwing error, gave the Cougars a 4-2 lead when Christina Guarino overthrew second base that allowed Debbie to score.

Rizo added an insurance run in the sixth when she singled down the left field line to score Tatiana Yourstone.

Stahlbrand improved to 4-1 in the circle with two strikeouts in the complete game victory.

With the victory, Head Coach Margie Acker breaks her own season record for wins, surpassing the 2017 squad which won 36 games.

Coach Acker and the Cougars will return to action tomorrow, Sunday, May 5th, in Ewing, N.J. against the top seed Lions of the College of New Jersey for the NJAC Championship beginning at 11:00 a.m. The Cougars need to win both games to capture the championship.