Manhattan Uses Long Ball, Solid Pitching to Sweep Fairleigh Dickinson
Game One Box Score
Game Two Box Score
RIVERDALE, N.Y. – The Manhattan College softball team got a pair of stellar pitching performances from Kate Bowen (Newtown, Conn.) and Amy Bright (Manlius, N.Y.), as well as a total of five home runs in the two games, to notch a doubleheader sweep of Fairleigh Dickinson at Gaelic Park on Thursday. After posting a 2-1 victory in game one, the Jaspers (6-14) shut out the Knights (7-12), 5-0, in the nightcap.
“We got two great pitching performances,” Head Coach Tom Pardalis said. “That was the key. Besides getting all the home runs, the key was getting our pitchers out there throwing strikes and getting outs.”
Game one began as a pitcher’s duel between Bowen and Megan Reiner. Bowen retired seven straight after a two-out double in the first, while Reiner struck out six of the first 10 Manhattan hitters. The Jaspers broke the deadlock in the fourth, when Elena Bowman (San Mateo, Calif.) hit a line drive to left that carried over the wall for her seventh home run of the season.
After Fairleigh Dickinson tied the game on Cindy Zamudio’s RBI double in the top of the sixth, Bowen gave herself a 2-1 cushion with a solo homer to right. She gave up a leadoff single in the top of the seventh, and, after a popped up bunt, the Knights moved the runner over to second with two out for leadoff hitter Madelaine Wilen. Wilen sent a sinking line drive to the gap in left center that Emily Cutler (Bloomingdale, N.J.) caught for the final out in the 2-1 Manhattan victory.
Manhattan had just three hits in the game, the homers by Bowen and Bowman, and a first-inning single by Amanda Paxson (Cedar Grove, N.J.). In the circle, Bowen (4-3) allowed just one run on four hits with three strikeouts and a walk.
The Knights were limited to four hits in game one. In addition to Zamudio’s RBI double, Alex Portesi and Angelique Nieves each doubled, and Liz Woidt added a single. Reiner (5-3) suffered a tough-luck loss after giving up just two runs and three hits while striking out 11 and not walking a batter.
In game two, Bright got some help from her defense to keep the Knights off the board early on. Portesi was doubled off first on Wilen’s fly out to right to end the first inning, while Cheryl Lopez got caught in a rundown trying to score on a Portesi single in the third. Mickayla Romero (Las Vegas, Nev.) fielded Portesi’s bunt down the third base line, then, when she saw she didn’t have a play at first, threw behind Lopez, who had already rounded third. Bowman applied the tag to end the inning and keep Fairleigh Dickinson off the board.
Bowman was then hit with the first pitch of the bottom of the third. Paxson was up next, and she sent a drive to deep left that the Fairleigh Dickinson left fielder had in her glove for a second before dropping the ball over the fence for a two-run homer. Jenn Vazquez (Fairfield, Conn.) followed with a no-doubt-about-it shot to left that increased Manhattan’s lead to 3-0 and chased Fairleigh Dickinson starter Loren Stavrou. When Vazquez came up again in the fifth, she crushed one to even deeper left field, driving in Paxson as well to make it 5-0 Jaspers.
That was all the offense Bright needed, as she didn’t allow a Fairleigh Dickinson runner past first base the rest of the way. In fact, the Knights only had two base runners after the third. Lopez singled with two out in the fifth and Portesi reached on an error in the sixth. Bright finished off her shutout by retiring the Knights in order with three groundouts to third in the seventh.
The 3-4-5 hitters in the Manhattan order—Paxson, Vazquez and Andi Stallard (Katy, Texas)—went a combined 6-for-9 with three home runs, four runs scored and all five RBIs in game two. Overall, the Jaspers finished with nine hits in the contest. Bowman didn’t have a hit, but was hit by a pitch and scored a run, extending her streak to 15 consecutive games reaching base. Bright (1-8) scattered three hits and walked two while striking out four in her second career shutout.
Fairleigh Dickinson’s three hits were singles by Portesi, Nieves and Lopez. Lopez also pitched four innings in relief, yielding two runs on three hits and striking out two. Stavrou (0-3) took the loss after giving up three runs on six hits while also recording a strikeout in two-plus innings of work. The three Fairleigh Dickinson pitchers didn’t walk a single Jasper over the course of the two games.
The Jaspers conclude their six-game homestand and open their Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) schedule on Saturday, when Quinnipiac (3-18, 0-0 MAAC) comes to Gaelic Park for a 12 p.m. twinbill. Manhattan was set to then visit Siena (9-10, 0-0 MAAC) on Sunday, but that doubleheader has been moved to the College of St. Rose on Monday at 11 a.m. due to field conditions and the forecast of inclement weather.