CALDWELL, N.J. – Caldwell University amassed a 23-11 advantage in base hits in winning both ends of its Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference softball doubleheader from visiting Felician University, 11-1 and 10-4, on Thursday afternoon at Caldwell Field. .
Caldwell (27-10, 18-0 CACC) is ranked No. 20 in the latest national NCAA Division II coaches' poll. The Cougars are undefeated in CACC play with eight league games remaining.
Felician batted last in both games. The doubleheader was a make-up of a rained-out date originally scheduled to be hosted by the Golden Falcons
The Golden Falcons (17-18, 8-8) were unable to hold onto leads of 3-1 and 4-3 in Game 2. Trailing 1-0 after three frames, Felician scored three times in the bottom of the fourth. Its four hits in the inning included a run-scoring double by Steph Donah (Clark, N.J.), and it also tallied twice on Cougar errors. Caldwell tied the game with two unearned runs in the fifth, with center fielder Donah cutting down the potential go-ahead run at home plate to keep the game even.
Felician went back on top in the home half of the fifth when freshman Jaimie Parisi (Hackensack, N.J.) led off with her first collegiate home run. But Caldwell blew the game open in the sixth, using six hits and three Golden Falcons errors to score seven times. Melissa Rini (Fort Lauderdale, Fla) drove in the tying run with a bases-loaded single, and Marisa Monasseri (Monroe Township, N.J.) followed with a two-run double to put the Cougars ahead for good.
Monasseri and Lauren Frye (Jupiter, Fla.) each went 3 for 5 to lead Caldwell's 14-hit attack. Pitcher Sydney Ponto (West Deptford, N.J.) (18-3) earned the victory with three innings of one-hit relief, striking out six.
The Cougars jumped ahead early in Game 1 on a two-run, first inning double by freshman Jesse Johnston (Livermore, Calif.). Felician's Racquel Manzo (Whittier, Calif.) sliced Felician's deficit in half with a solo homer with one out in the second, but that was the only offense the Golden Falcons could generate off of Caldwell starter Ponto.
Caldwell pushed its edge to 5-1 after five innings, then put the NCAA eight-run rule into effect with a six-run sixth. Monasseri drew four walks and scored three runs, while sophomore right fielder Carly Testa (Sicklerville, N.J.), batting behind her, went 4 for 4 with two doubles, a home run, and five RBI.
Manzo finished 2 for 2 plus a walk and Zeaenna Brackett (Woodbury, N.J.) was 2 for 3 for Felician.
The Golden Falcons host Wilmington (Del.) University on Apr. 18 in Lyndhurst, N.J.