|RaeLynn Galindo's game two home run gives Monmouth the edge|
Monmouth 4 (6)
The Monmouth Hawks and Marist Red Foxes split a MAAC doubleheader that had tournament implications Saturday in Poughkeepsie, New York.
With the top six in the MAAC nearly settled, this doubleheader featured two teams fighting for inclusion. Monmouth, with the better record entering the twinbill, needed to avoid the sweep that Marist was looking for. Predictably, the games were intense. Game one saw the teams trading leads until the Red Foxes ended it with a big inning. Justene Reyes' suicide squeeze bunt in the top of the first inning scored Emma hill, giving Monmouth a 1-0 lead. Colleen McWilliams' two run home run blast in the bottom of the second inning put the Red Foxes in front 2-1, but the Hawks would regain their lead in the top of the next inning, thanks to a home run off the bat of Justene Reyes and an unearned run due to error scored by Emma Hill. Marist tied the game quickly in the bottom of the third when Becca Freeman delivered an RBI double. Monmouth again forged in front, 4-3 in the top of the fifth inning, thanks to an RBI single by Ashalynn Umiamaka. But Marist kept fighting for their season, tying the game with Janna Korak's RBI single in the bottom of the fifth, and exploding for nine runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, ending early what had been a tight contest. In that sixth inning, Gabrielle Kelliher's two run homer gave the Red Foxes a 6-4 lead; RBI hits by Maureen Duddy and Kyrsten Van Natta, plus a bases loaded walk to Janna Korak increased the lead to 9-4. Freshman Sam Reilly then hit a dramatic walk off grand slam home run to seal the win. Melanie White improved her circle record to 12-10.
The stakes for game two were high. The winner would take possession of the sixth and final tournament slot, and hold the tiebreaker over the loser. Again, it was an intense contest. And again, Monmouth took the early lead, this time in the top of the third inning with Emma Hill scoring once more after Ashalynn Umiamaka sent her home. The bottom of the same inning saw Marist quickly tie the game when Becca Freeman sent a blast over the center field fence. The game remained tied until the top of the fifth inning when, after Jill Freese opened the frame with a single, RaeLynn Galindo hit a home run over the left field fence to give the Hawks a lead they would not relinquish. Marist did load the bases with no outs in the bottom of the fifth inning, but Vanessa Cardoza and catcher Jill Freese turned a double play that snuffed that threat. Freshman Amanda Riley, pitching a fine game on the road, earned the win.
Monmouth is now 8-6 in the MAAC, and control their own fate. Marist is 6-8, and will need to win perhaps their final games while hoping for some help.