WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – Rachel Shotzbarger (Saugus, Calif./Saugus) went 3-for-3 as the Monmouth University softball team defeated Penn, 4-2, Wednesday afternoon at MU Softball Park. With the win, the Hawks improve to 15-17, while the Quakers are now 15-18.
Shotzbarger drove in a run as part of the Hawks’ three-run 1st inning, while Vanessa Cardoza (Santa Ana, Calif./Ocean View) went 2-for-3 with an RBI double and a run scored. Justene Reyes (Carson, Calif./Warren) also added an RBI double and a run scored. Shannon Fitzgerald (Santa Clarita, Calif./Valencia) and Meagan Newton-Pender (Holbrook, Ariz./Holbrook) each singled in their only at bats, with Fitzgerald also stealing a base and scoring a run. Nikki Sandelier (Turnersville, N.J./Washington Township) also added a single, a run scored and a stolen base.
Sydney Underhill (Temecula, Calif./Chaparral) went the distance in earning the complete-game victory. She allowed just two runs, one earned, on five hits and three walks, while striking out seven.
The Hawks immediately jumped on the Quakers for three runs in the bottom of the 1st. Fitzgerald walked, stole second, moved to third on a Cardoza single and scored on Reyes’ double to left center. Shotzbarger singled to right to score Cardoza, before Kayleena Flores (Atwater, Calif./Buhach Colony) hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Reyes.
Penn got a run back on a wacky play in the 2nd. After the Quakers got two runners on at first and second with one out, Korinne Raby hit a ball to the hole between first and second that appeared to strike base runner Alexis Sargent before deflecting into right field. But the umpires disagreed, allowing the play to continue and result in an RBI double. Underhill worked out of further trouble with a strikeout and a groundout to end the inning with the Hawks still leading, 3-1.
The Hawks got the run back in the bottom of the 2nd. Sandelier capped an 11-pitch at bat with an infield single to lead off the inning. She then stole second and took third on Fitzgerald’s single to center. After a line-out double play for the first two outs, Cardoza doubled to right center to score Sandelier, giving Monmouth a 4-1 lead.
Penn scored an unearned run in the fourth on an errant throw, but would draw no closer as the Hawks closed out the 4-2 victory.
The Hawks return to action Saturday, when they begin the Western New York MAAC weekend at Niagara. First pitch of the doubleheader is set for noon.