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Sunday, April 08, 2007

""Home Run Heather" powers Monmouth softball (19-8, 7-1)/notes from MU SID EO

Gordon was instrumental in helping MU going a perfect 4-0 on the week. Gordon went 4-for-6 in Monmouth’s Saturday doubleheader sweep over St. Francis (Pa.) with a pair of RBI and a double. She saved her best for the latter part of the weekend however, as she went 4-for-8 against Robert Morris, including hitting a home run in each game, and driving in five runs on the afternoon, including the game-winner in the nightcap. She also made a key defensive play right before RMU tied the game as Gordon made a catch of a fly ball in leftfield and gunned out Colonial Brooke Panepinto at the plate as she tagged up and tried to score to end the sixth before the Colonials scored the equalizer in the top of the seventh. Gordon then delivered the game-winning single through the left side to score Lee Simonetti (Poughkeepsie, N.Y./Our Lady of Lourdes) who led off the inning with a single, and give MU the win. For the week, Gordon slugged an amazing 1.071 % and tallied a .571 on-base percentage.

Sophomore Kristine Sawlsville won three of the four games the Hawks prevailed in during the week, including tossing two complete-game gems. She kicked MU’s four-game winning streak off with a no-hitter against St. Francis (Pa.), striking out eight and only walking one batter. She then started the first game of the doubleheader the next day against Robert Morris, throwing a four-hitter while only allowing one earned run and striking out eight again against only two walks. Then, for an encore, she pitched the final 2.1 innings of relief in the nightcap against the Colonials to pick up her third win of the week. On the week, she threw 16.1 innings, while only surrendering eight hits and one earned run, while striking out 17 batters and only walkng three. Her ERA for the week was a paltry 0.43.

Team Notes

The Hawks are 19-8 and 7-1 in the Northeast Conference after going 4-0 in league play this past week. MU swept through the state of Pennsylvania this past week, defeating St. Francis (Pa.) 5-0 and 10-2 on Friday, and Robert Morris 3-1 and 10-9 on Saturday. Sophomore Kristine Sawlsville (Wyomissing, Pa./Wilson), who went 3-0 with a 0.43 ERA on the week, tossed a no-hitter in the week’s first game, a 5-0 win over the Red Flash in the first game of a doubleheader Friday afternoon at the MU Softball Park. Sawlsville struck out eight, walked one and hit one batter in the game. Heather Gordon (Hatboro, Pa./Mount St. Joseph’s) went 2-for-4 with a run driven in on a first inning double to lead the MU offensive charge in support of Sawlsville in game one.
Jessica Nicola (South Amboy, N.J./Sayreville) led off the bottom of the second inning with a single and came around to score on a wild pitch. Lisa DiLeo (Commack, N.Y./Commack) singled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Gina Mignogna (Mt. Laurel, N.J./Lenape) later in the inning.
Dawn Gilchrist (Newfoundland, N.J./Jefferson) led off the fifth inning with a single, and scored on a Kara O'Dell (Henderson, Nev./Green Valley) base hit, and Caitlin Tighe (Somers, N.Y./Kennedy Catholic) concluded the Monmouth scoring when she scored after pinch-running for O’Dell.
In the second game on Friday against the Red Flash, another solid pitching performance and two tremendous defensive plays stole the show as Angela Rand (Hamilton, N.J./Steinert) threw a five-inning complete game to improve to 4-1 on the season. She allowed seven hits and struck out five to earn the win. The defensive gems were supplied by Nicola, who playing behind the plate made a sliding grab against the fence behind home plate in the top of the third, and Nichole Alvarez (Brick, N.J./Brick Twp.), who made a diving catch to end the top of the fourth inning with Red Flash runners on second and third.

Lee Simonetti (Poughkeepsie, N.Y./Our Lady of Lourdes) went 1-for-4, but scored two runs and drove in three RBI in the second game, while Gilchrist went 2-for-3 with two RBI. Gordon went a perfect 2-for-2 with a RBI, O’Dell and Nicola each went 2-for-3 with a run scored, and Jaime Jurewicz (Holland, Pa./Nazareth Academy) went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and a RBI. MU pounded out 12 hits in the nightcap as five Hawks registered at least two hits in the game.
Then on Saturday, Sawlsville won both games and senior Heather Gordon hit a home run in each game as the Monmouth University softball team swept a doubleheader from Robert Morris, 3-1 and 10-9.
Sawlsville dealed a complete game four-hitter in the first contest with the Colonials, striking out eight and walking only two. In the second game, she came in to pitch the final 2.1 innings in relief to earn the win and Gordon delivered the game-winning single through the left side to score Simonetti who led off the inning with a single.
In the first game with the Hawks trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the fourth, Nicola stepped to the plate and blasted a two-out, two-run home run over the left-centerfield fence to score Alvarez, who had singled, with what proved to be the game-winning run.
Gordon then added an insurance run with a round-tripper of her own in the bottom of the fifth inning to give MU their 3-1 lead. Gina Mignogna (Mt. Laurel, N.J./Lenape) just missed out on a home run of her own as she smacked a double in the fifth inning that hit off the base of the fence.
In game two Monmouth jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the second inning and held a 9-4 lead after four before Gordon’s late-game heroics supplied the 10-9 win in the bottom of the seventh. The Hawks got it going when Mignogna laced a two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the second. Simonetti followed with a RBI single to score Mignogna.

The Colonials came back with a three-run double by Ashley Smith in the third, and chipped away to tie the game at 9-9 in the top of the seventh. Right before RMU tied the game, Heather Gordon gunned out Brooke Panepinto at the plate and Nicola supplied the tag to end the sixth before the Colonials scored the equalizer in the top of the seventh.
Simonetti went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI in the second game, while Alvarez went 3-for-4 with two runs scored. She also had five stolen bases on the day, including four in the second game. Gordon with 3-for-5 with four RBI and Nicola, Mignogna and Candice Palumbo (Hillsborough, N.J./Hillsborough) each collected two hits and one run scored.
MU hit .393 as a team on the week, with six different players batting at least .400 over the four-game stretch. Monmouth outscored their two opponents 28-12 this past week, and out-hit them 42-23. Alvarez was 6-6 on stolen base opportunities, bringing her season total to 25-for-26.
The Hawks return to action when they host Saint Peter’s on Wednesday, April 11 in a doubleheader with the first pitch set for 3 pm. They resume NEC play when they host a pair of doubleheaders, against Fairleigh Dickinson on Saturday with the first pitch set for 1 pm and Sacred Heart on Sunday with the first pitch set for 12 noon.


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