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Softball sweeps Felician in 2021 opener

Edward Rudman Sports Writer

The long-awaited return of sports competition has finally arrived. It couldn’t have started off on a higher note, as the softball team swept their doubleheader against Felician College on Sunday, March 14 at Pelz Field.

“I’m riding on this high of nice two-win sweep on the day,” said pitcher Jazmyn Martinez. “It’s a good tone-setter for the rest of the season, that’s for sure. We’re going to conference games next weekend, so we’re excited about that.”

Softball was the first spring sport to return and they showed up ready to perform. The first game of the doubleheader started at noon and the Owls put on an offensive clinic. By the end of the game, the final score was 10-2. Those 10 runs were scored on an efficient 10 hits.

The Owls came out looking to set the tone right out of the gates. They were able to score three runs in the first inning and followed that up with an even bigger second inning, driving in another six runs. They scored their last run in the fifth and final inning.

Martinez got the start on the mound, pitching a complete game and only allowing two runs, both in the fourth inning.

Felician couldn’t score runs and capitalize on having players on base; they committed four errors as well. The Owls had a clean game, committing zero errors.

“I think that just because we’ve been practicing for so long and we’ve been working on all sorts of situations during practice, I think that we were just ready,” said center fielder Cailey Botteon.

Botteon had a successful day at the plate, as she got three hits in her four at bats and drove in three runs in the first game. The Owls also showed their base running skills, as shortstop Sara Buscetto stole two bases and first baseman Jayden Delaporta added another.

Once the game ended, a short intermission took effect before the start of the second game of the doubleheader at 2:15 p.m.

They continued momentum from the first game and were able to edge out Felician 4-2, improving to 2-0 on the season. Felician dropped to 0-6 with the two losses on Sunday.

The Owls came out to a hot start once again, as they scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning. They were able to drive in two more runs during the game, one each in the third and fourth innings.

Felician refused to go down without a fight, notching a two-run homerun in the fifth inning. The Owls stepped up on defense afterwards and did not allow another run in the last two innings. Pitcher Jess Perucki was on the mound for the second game, pitching a complete game and allowed two runs on six hits.

The second game also saw an erratic showcase of weather. When the game started, it was sunny and clear, but as the game progressed, the wind picked up and blew dirt from the infield up into the air. A quick hailstorm followed suit, which only added to the drama of a close game.

“Felician was storming in and the actual storm was storming in,” said Interim Head Coach Christine Akcer. “It was some of the most insane weather, not to make excuses, but that was some of the toughest weather I’ve ever seen a team have to play through. We really gave it up to Jess Perucki for getting us out of that inning, and the defense. She was trying to get us out of the inning with all these extra factors going on and the perseverance was at an all-time high.”

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