Monday, April 18, 2016

The Mighty Monmouth Hawks

Rachel Shotzbarger has emerged as one of the MAAC's top hitters
The Monmouth Hawks have continued to build on the momentum from their 2015 MAAC Tournament run, and have surged to first place in the conference with a record of 9-1. On Sunday in West Long Branch, NJ, the Hawks stunned Manhattan by scoring the first 18 runs in the conference doubleheader. They won the first game 8-0, in five innings, then stormed to a 10-0 lead in game two before Manhattan staged a late innings rally. The Hawks won that game 10-7. Junior Rachel Shotzbarger had a powerful day, connecting on a grand slam homer in game two, and finished the twinbill with seven RBIs. Her teammate Jill Freese also clubbed a grand slam, in game one. Justene Reyes, the team RBI leader, hit one out herself. Emma Hill also homered. But that one was of the inside the park variety, as the speedy senior rounded the bases in softball's most exciting and rare play. She's having a terrific season as the Hawks' leadoff hitter, often getting on base with a bunt single. She leads the team in stolen bases. Amanda Riley pitched a shutout in game one; her ERA is now 2.28, and she strikes out more than one batter per inning. Sydney Underhill allowed five runs in game two, but none of them were earned. She won her 12th game of the season.

The Hawks face a major test on Saturday when they host the 30 win Marist Red Foxes, who have great hitters and pitchers also. This will be a battle for first place. And although the MAAC season has a ways to go, a sweep would put either team in the driver's seat to host the upcoming MAAC Tournament. Should be fun!

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