KISSMMEE, Fla. – Montclair State, ranked No. 1 in the latest National Fastpitch Coaches Association Poll, swept another pair of contests at the Rebel Spring Games on Thursday as the Red Hawks improved to 8-0 after wins against Lakeland and Sage Colleges.
Junior second baseman Katie Muglia drove in three runs as MSU defeated Lakeland 9-1 early in the morning. The Red Hawks then got a home run from freshman Dana Egan and 6.2 shutout innings from junior Alison Cullen in a 7-0 win against Sage.
Junior right-hander Alex Hill picked up her seventh win of the season against Lakeland allowing one run, the first she has given up this year, and one hit as she struck out 10. Hill, who allowed two hits and a run batted in, moved within three strikeouts of the MSU career record of 597 set by Carolyn McCrea from 2005-2008.
MSU jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Senior center fielder Jamie Paulino singled with one out, went to second on a wild pitch and scored as sophomore designated player Tara Petrucelli drove a ball into left field for the game’s first run.
Paulino was the catalyst for a four-run rally in the third inning as she led off with a base hit and stole second. MSU loaded the bases and plated a run as Hill singled to left for a 2-0 advantage. Alisha Cumberton followed with a walk to force in another run and free passes to Melany Zeller and Muglia added three more as the Red Hawks led 5-0.
Lakeland (3-7) got a run back in the top of the fourth when Jenny LaLuzerne lined a solo home run down the right field line, snapping Hill’s consecutive innings scoreless streak at 37 1/3 innings dating back to last May when she allowed two runs to Linfield in the NCAA Division III Softball Championship. It’s the third consecutive season that Hill has registered a streak of 30-plus innings without allowing a run.
Leading 5-1, the Red Hawks tacked on three runs in the bottom of the inning. Zeller drove in one with a grounder and Muglia doubled in two more for an 8-1 lead. Petrucelli accounted for the final run with an RBI single in the fifth.
Petrucelli went 3-for-3 at the plate with Hill and Paulino each getting two hits.
Cullen picked up her first win of the season against Sage as she struck out six and walked two in giving up four singles. Sophomore Jennifer Skinner registered the final out for MSU’s fourth shutout in the early season.
Montclair snapped a scoreless game in the third with three runs as Muglia lined a ball down the left field line scoring Cumberton for a 1-0 lead. Two batters later, Jaclyn Allegretta doubled to right field bringing home Muglia and Egan as MSU built a three-run cushion.
Egan made it 4-0 in the top of the fourth as she belted a full-count offering over the left field fence for her first collegiate home run. Paulino and Dana Amato collected back-to-back doubles as the lead was widened to 6-0. The Red Hawks got their final run in the seventh as Caroline Murphy scored from third on a wild pitch.
Paulino and Kelli O’Brien had two hits apiece for Montclair State.