On Tuesday, April 8, the Pioneer softball team (currently 27-5) took the field against the Bears of NYIT in the “Battle of the Boulevard.” The Green and Gold never trailed the Bears once during the day, cruising to two victories at a clip of 7-2, and a 10-0 shutout in the second game.
In game one of the doubleheader, freshman first baseman Kayla McCoy and senior outfielder Alexis Gonzalez were on board for a three run blast by senior shortstop Nicole Hagenah. The three run homer came in the first inning, and the Pioneers looked to add more in the upcoming innings. In the second inning, McCoy extended the lead to 4-0 with a RBI double. After a short two run inning by the visitors, the Pioneers were back at it again as sophomore designated hitter Paige Swantek cleared the bases on a double, giving her squad a 7-2 lead. Senior pitcher Liz Weber earned her 12th win of the season going five innings only giving up one earned run.
In game two, the Pioneers struck early again, scoring five runs in the first inning. McCoy got the Pioneers on the scoreboard with a solo home run, her second home run of the season. A pair of doubles and a single led to four more runs coming across for the Pioneers as they jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead. Freshman pitcher Ashley Martin logged five innings of one hit ball, and gave up no runs while striking out two. McCoy led the charge against the Bears as she went 5-7 for the day, including a double and a home run. The pitching as a whole was also stellar, allowing only two runs on six hits.
The Pioneers took the diamond against the Molloy College Lions on Thursday, April 10, in Brookville, N.Y. The Pioneers split the doubleheader, losing the first game 12-4, ending their impressive 20 game win-streak.
The second game was tightly contested as both teams jumped on each other early, scoring two runs in the first inning. The Lions got one of their runs on a throwing error and tacked on another run via an RBI single by junior second baseman Brenda Lee. The Pioneers answered the visitors’ early push with a two run shot by Gonzalez.
Lions’ senior shortstop, Nicolette Sinagra, nailed a two run shot over the centerfield wall to give her team a 4-2 advantage. Sinagra’s homer was answered by a three run shot by junior catcher Aly Dzierzynski. With the game tied at five in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Pioneers grabbed the lead when junior outfielder Catherine Havens connected on the go ahead and, ultimate, game winning single, plating the sixth run of the game. The Pioneers got the 6-5 win despite having three errors. Their pitching held up as Weber got her 13th win of the season and sophomore pitcher Quincy Lewis shut the door for the save, her fifth of the season.
On Sat. Apr. 12, the Pioneers returned to action to play the Mavericks of Mercy College from Dobbs Ferry N.Y., and the Pioneers gave up a grand total of one run as they swept the two game series.
The Pioneers sent out freshman pitcher Ashley Martin, getting all the run support she needed when sophomore third baseman Maria Palmeri drilled one over the fence for her third homer of the season. The Pioneers added two runs in the sixth inning via a Dzierzynski two run homerun, and they added four runs in the seventh frame to put the game out of reach. Martin went the distance, pitching seven innings and striking out 10, resulting in her 10th victory of the season in the 7-0 final.
The second game was more of the same for the Pioneers, as they cruised to a 5-1 win. The Green and Gold struck first again, scoring a run in the second inning on an error by the Mavericks. The Mavericks tied the game on an RBI groundout in the third inning. In the top of the sixth, LIU scored four runs, three of which came from a Dzierzynski home run. The Pioneers ended up winning 5-1, and took both games conveniently.
The Pioneers continued their busy weekend with a double dip on Sunday, April 13, against the Cougars of Caldwell College. They traded wins with the Cougars, losing the first and bouncing back in the second game.
The Cougars jumped out to an early three run lead in the first inning, and made it 4-0 in the second inning. Sophomore first baseman Brielle Reighn had an RBI and two runs in the first two innings. The Pioneers answered with two runs in the fourth, but the Cougars shut the door on any hopes of a comeback as they won 5-3.
The second game was more of the same for Caldwell, who struck early with three runs. Looking to respond, Dzierzynski hit a three run homer and gave the Pioneers a 4-3 lead. Infielder Maria Palmeri added an insurance run late in the game with a solo homerun, and the Pioneers cruised to an 8-4 win as Martin got her 12th victory of the season.
The Pioneers next sets of games are scheduled for Thursday, April 17, against the Purple Knights from the University of Bridgeport. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. in Brookville, N.Y.