WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – Alicia DeSanto (Upper Darby, Pa./Upper Darby) went 4-for-7 with a double and five RBI’s and Sydney Underhill (Temecula, Calif./Chaparral) earned both wins in the circle as the Monmouth University softball team swept Hourglass Rival Saint Peter’s, 4-0 and 7-6, Saturday afternoon at MU Softball Park. With the sweep, Monmouth improves to 13-16 (5-5 MAAC), while the Peacocks fall to 9-31 (3-7 MAAC).
Kayleena Flores (Atwater, Calif./Buhach Colony) added a 2-for-5 effort with three runs scored and an RBI, while Vanessa Cardoza (Santa Ana, Calif./Ocean View) also had two hits, including a double. Jill Freese (Oxford, Pa./Oxford Area) belted a go-ahead, two-run home run in Game 2, while Justene Reyes (Carson, Calif./Warren) and Kaitie Schumacher (San Diego, Calif./Scripps Ranch) each added a hit and two runs scored.
Underhill pitched all 14 innings in the circle for Monmouth, allowing six earned runs on 14 hits and six walks. She struck out seven. All six runs came in the second game after Underhill spun her second complete-game shutout of the season in Game 1. She kept the Peacocks scoreless, allowing just six hits and two walks, while striking out four in the first game.
Following four scoreless frames, the Hawks got on the board first in the bottom of the 5th in Game 1. Schumacher was hit by a pitch and replaced at first following a Freese fielder’s choice. Nikki Sandelier (Turnersville, N.J./Washington Township) then singled to left to put runners on first and second. Both runners moved up on Shannon Fitzgerald’s (Santa Clarita, Calif./Valencia) groundout. DeSanto then lined a base hit to right center to score both runners with the day’s first two tallies.
Monmouth tacked on two more runs in the 6th. Reyes led off with a 10-pitch walk, before Rachel Shotzbarger (Saugus, Calif./Saugus) and Flores both also walked to load the bases. Following a pair of 5-2 fielder’s choices for the first two outs of the frame, Raelynn Galindo (Yorba Linda, Calif./Yorba Linda) then pinch hit and sent a line drive into center that scored two, giving Monmouth a 4-0 lead. Underhill shut the door in the seventh to complete the victory.
In Game 2, Fitzgerald led off the bottom of the 1st with a single through the right side and moved to second on a passed ball. DeSanto then followed suit, shooting a line drive through the right side to score Fitzgerald with the game’s first run.
The Hawks tacked on two more in the 2nd and another in the 3rd. Flores and Schumacher each singled to lead off the 2nd, before Sandelier dropped down a sacrifice bunt with one out to move the runners to second and third. Following a Fitzgerald walk on four pitches, DeSanto doubled to left to score two. In the 3rd, Reyes and Shotzbarger singled consecutively to lead off the inning, before moving up one base each on a Flores groundout. With two outs, Freese and Galindo both walked on eight-straight balls to plate the Hawks’ fourth run.
Saint Peter’s struck back with a five-run 4th. Crystal Carlucci hit a two-run double to left center for the first two Peacock runs, before Lee Harrison hit a three-run home run to give Saint Peter’s a 5-4 lead.
The Hawks retook the lead in the 5th on Freese’s majestic home run to left that landed on top of the visiting batting cage. Saint Peter’s drew even at 6-6 in the 6th on a throwing error. But the Hawks scored the go-ahead run on an even crazier play in the bottom of the 6th. Reyes and Shotzbarger both walked with two outs, before Flores sent a hot shot to second. Peacocks second baseman Taylor Corretjer did well to successfully range to her right and snag the grounder, but missed second base on the would-be third out, allowing Reyes to score.
Underhill issued a one-out walk in the 7th, but erased the runner by inducing a 1-6-4-3 double play ball to end the game.
The Hawks return to MAAC action tomorrow when they travel to Hamden, Conn., to take on Quinnipiac. First pitch of the doubleheader is scheduled for noon.