UNION, N.J. (5/11/19) – The #13 Kean University softball team set a new single-season record for wins and reached the regional final of the 2019 NCAA Division III softball Union regional after splitting two games on Saturday afternoon.
#11 Christopher Newport 8, #13 Kean 3
CNU (35-7) scored seven of their eight runs on homers to propel them into the regional final. The Cougars (38-7) tallied three runs on six hits as Kean fell in the opening game of the day. Despite the final score, Kean fought hard early to stay with the Captains. CNU took a 2-0 lead with the long ball in the first before Caroline Ratti crossed the dish on a defensive miscue in the bottom half of the inning. The Cougars eventually tied up the game in the third after an RBI single by Jacqueline Riley allowed Olivia Zengel to score. Riley hit a fly ball that was lost in the sun by Grace Wild and Zengel came home to tie the game at 2-2.
CNU extended their lead to 6-2 before Cayleen Rizo earned an RBI bases-loaded walk that cut CNU advantage to 6-3. That RBI moved Rizo into a tie for first place on the RBI list. The Captains would homer one more time before the final out was made.
Taryn DiGiacomo struck out a season-high eight batters in the complete game loss.
Kean 8, Endicott 2
Julie Raba went 3-for-4 with two RBI's and two runs scored as the Cougars (39-7) bounced back to take the final game of the afternoon and stay alive in the regional. Kean took a 4-0 lead behind the bat and base running of Raba. The sophomore singled to right field in the first, which allowed Ratti to score after a misplayed ball by the right fielder. The ball rolled to the wall and Raba came home for the 2-0 lead. Kean increased their lead to 4-0 after Raba tallied an RBI double and scored on an Endicott throwing error.
The Gulls (33-7) cut the advantage in half at 4-2, before Kean propelled themselves to the victory with four runs on four hits in the sixth.
Kaitlin Stahlbrand struck out a batter in four innings, while Riley earned her second save of the season after pitching the final three innings.
Head Coach Margie Acker and the Cougars will return to action in the regional final tomorrow, Sunday, May 12th, against nationally-ranked Christopher Newport University at 12:00 p.m. Kean is coming out of the elimination bracket and will need to win both games to capture the regional championship.
Kean vs. CNU PostGame
Kean vs. Endicott PostGame