March 12, 2007

Softball Extends Record Streak, Wins Four Games

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For the second consecutive weekend, the softball team went undefeated, improving its record to 10-0 — the best start in program history. The Red used stellar pitching, strong defense and timely hitting to win all six of its games at the Spartan Classic.

Junior pitcher Jenn Meunier was sensational for the Red all weekend. She pitched in all six games, starting in three and coming on in relief for sophomore Haley Mirrer in the others. She pitched a total of 24 2/3 innings, allowing only two earned runs. She was the winning pitcher in four games and earned a save in another. Her ERA on the season is now a miniscule 0.69 while her record is 6-0.

“She and Haley both pitched very well. Haley has been playing with a nagging injury and Meunier was able to help her out,” said head coach Dick Blood of his decision to bring Meunier in as a reliever for the games that Mirrer started. Mirrer was 2-0 on the weekend, improving to 4-0 on the season.

In the first game of the weekend, the Red defeated Niagara 4-0. Meunier pitched all seven innings, striking out six. Sophomore Meghan Risica had two extra-base hits in the game.

Later that day, the Red defeated Delaware, 6-5. Meunier entered in the final inning with the tying run on second and one out, but was able to escape with the save. Junior outfielder Jenna Campagnolo had two RBIs and two runs in the game while freshman infielder Elise Menaker also had a good day offensively, contributing two hits and two runs.

Saturday featured the two most exciting games of the tournament for the Red. The team’s early game against Norfolk St. was a thriller. The Red was trailing 4-2 in the bottom of the eighth with two outs and two runners on base when Menaker stepped to the plate. The freshman drilled a double into lef field, plating both runners and extending the game.

In the top of the 10th inning, the Red allowed a run and the team’s prospects again looked grim. Yet, in the bottom of the inning, the Red quickly recovered behind senior Sarah Ruben, who pinch-hit and recorded a game-tying RBI. Two errors by Norfolk St. led to another Red run and a victory. Meunier pitched all 10 innings in the game.

The second game of the day, against Binghamton, was no less exciting. The Red won 3-2 behind a seventh inning, two-out, pinch hit RBI by Ruben which drove in Menaker. The two hitters were clutch for the Red all weekend.

“[Menaker] was very, very steady for us. She drove in a bunch of runs and she played a key role in the offense,” coach Blood said. “It’s exciting to see that [from a freshman.] She uses the whole field.”

On Sunday, the Red dominated a double-header against Marist. The Red forced a mercy in the first game by taking an 8-0 in the fifth inning. The second game was not much closer, as the Red proved victorious by a margin of 7-1.

Coach Blood said that while the team is excited about the 10-0 start, their enthusiasm remains tempered.

“Of course we’re all excited [about the hot start], but we understand the level of play will step up,” he said.