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Softball comes just short against Stockton

WEEHAWKEN, NJ (March 8, 2022) –The Stevens Institute of Technology softball team produced two late-inning rallies but failed to give up a pair of games at the University of Stockton on Tuesday in a non-conference doubleheader at Waterfront Park.

Junior Erin Kreis (0-3) appeared on both ends of the doubleheader, pitching effectively enough to put the Ducks in position to win every game, striking out six in 11 innings. However, Stockton scored two runs in the eighth inning to win the opener 6-5 before claiming the nightcap in an 11-10 slugfest. The sweep dropped Stevens to 0-6 this season, while the Ospreys moved to 2-0.

“We improved today, I don’t care about anything else,” said the head coach Emilie Kaczmarek. “We improved today offensively and defensively for the first time this season and our student-athletes should be proud of that.”

Stevens led 4-1 in the lead in the seventh of Game 1, but visiting Stockton rallied for three runs to force extra innings. In the eighth, Kayla Posten doubled the left field line to tackle Charli Czaczkowksi, who started the inning at second base. The Ospreys veered on another run on RBI ground to take a 6-4 lead. The Ducks rallied in their eighth half as a junior Alex Schoellig driven in second year Caroline Yahn to cut Stevens’ deficit in half.

Senior Meg Halloran reached on a field single and quickly stole second, but as a sophomore Julia Baber knocked down on a 1-2 pitch to end the game.

Samantha McErlane (1-0) went all eight innings for the victory, allowing five unearned runs on seven hits.

Baber and Halloran led the Ducks offensively in the opener, with both going 1-for-3 at the plate. Baber had an RBI to go along with two sacrifice hits, while Halloran scored twice, stole a base and had a sacrifice of her own.

The Ducks came first on the board late in the third on a senior defender’s choice pitch Lexi Gregule. In the fourth, the Ducks extended their lead when they exploded for three runs, taking advantage of a fielding error from McErlane as well as an RBI single from Baber, who made it 4-0 before the start of the fifth. .

The score remained at 4-0 until Stockton broke through in the sixth. With two outs, Posten reached an error, allowing Lilly James to score from the third. The Ospreys tackled three more in the seventh on James’ brace.

Stevens had a chance to win in the bottom half of the seventh. Second year Jessica Guerrero was hit by the first pitch of the inning. Second year Melanie Blar was next and also got run over, putting the runners in the first and second rows with no one coming out. After a pop-up, the Ducks boldly and successfully double-stealed putting the runners in second and third with one out. Unfortunately, that’s where the promising rally ended as an underplayed lineup resulted in a double play to end the Ducks’ threat.

In Game 2, it was the Ducks who rallied late, posting a fourth-place finish in the bottom of the seventh, but dropping a point as the Ospreys escaped with an 11-10 win.

The Ducks have had major contributions from many members of their roster. Schoellig went 3 for 4 with a run and three RBIs, while Baber went 2 for 4 with a run, an RBI and a stolen base. Guerrero had a 2-for-4 day at the plate, with a run, a double and an RBI. Second year madison kidd also filled in the box score, scoring two runs and hitting two, while walking once and stealing a base. Graduate student Amanda Delorme was also very productive at home plate with a 1-for-3 effort to go along with three runs scored, one walk and one stolen base.

A pair of batters stood out for Stockton as Megan Sears went 2 for 3 with two runs, a home run and three RBIs. Meanwhile, Czaczkowski enjoyed a 3-for-4 afternoon with two runs scored, one home run and three RBIs.

After the Ospreys took a 2-0 lead in the second, the Ducks roared, scoring five runs in the bottom half of the frame. The two teams traded runs in the third, then Stockton broke out for a big inning, scoring seven in the first half of the fourth. The Ospreys fired another run in the sixth to extend their lead to 11-6.

The bottom of the seventh is where things got really exciting for Stevens as Guerrero sparked the rally with a double right. Second year Melanie Blar followed by a single through the middle tackling Guerrero to cut the lead to 11-7. Next, Delorme drew a key march. After a steal catch, the Ducks kept the pressure on as Kidd hit a single and quickly stole the second. Schoellig picked the middle to score Kidd and moved to second on the home throw to bring the game-winning run, but Stevie Unger (1-0) forced a groundout to end the entertaining competition.

First year Megan Curtis (0-1) was defeated by Stevens, allowing three earned runs. Stockton’s Stevie Unger went the distance and was credited with the win, giving up all 10 runs, three of which were earned, and striking out five.

following: The Ducks will host a pair of home games against Mount Saint Vincent College on March 14-17. The all-time streak between the two teams sits a 4-0 clip in favor of Stevens with the most recent meeting coming in 2011, when the Ducks swept the Dolphins by scores of 7-0 and 12- 0.

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