Softball team back in the win column
Mike Neville – Sports Editor
After a cold streak put a damper on the softball teams hot start to the season, the Owls are once again back in the win column after a split in the doubleheader at home.
Despite a strong pitching performance in game one by Jazmyn Martinez, the Owls were not able to get the bats awake, taking the loss 1-0 to Adelphi University.
Things started falling into place tremendously during game two. A strong pitching performance by Jessica Perucki, accompanied by a few big hits, capped off the victory.
“When I am throwing pitches, I want to make sure the batter cannot get a good handle on them,” said Perucki. “I have been focusing more on my hitting. It has been coming out more throughout the week.”
Of the 31 batters faced, Perucki was able to strike out eight of them. She also accounted for her first collegiate home run, a three-run blast to center in the first inning.
“The homerun kind of just happened. I was thinking base-hit and to hit it up the middle. That’s the mindset I had while up at bat,” said Perucki.
The Owls’ 8-4 victory over the Panthers was a long time coming. The last time the Owls got the best of Adelphi was 2016.
Head Coach Jillian Rispoli who has been at the helm since 2014 said it was good to see her team have success on both sides of the spectrum.
“It feels good to see the bats come alive the way they did,” said Rispoli. “Our defense has been stellar making big plays in big situations. In game two it got away from us a bit but we were able to bounce back which was very reassuring to see.”
Graduate student and shortstop Sara Buscetto went 1-for-3 including a walk, three stolen bases and three runs scored. She continues her quest to be the Owls’ all-time stolen base holder. Freshman outfielder Emily Lange went 2-for-3 with one RBI.
Junior Jaqueline Dumont, who took over designated hitter duties for game two, shined the brightest, going 3-for-4 with an RBI double and a line-drive home run to center field.
The homerun was Dumont’s third on the season. She leads the team in the category.
“I get up to bat with the sole purpose to get on base,” said Dumont. “The past 16 years, I have put in the work and time and I just have to trust my hands and know that I know what I am doing when I get up there.”
The Owls’ onslaught of runs came early in the game and proved too much to handle for Adelphi, despite a comeback attempt in the late innings.
We really showed up and played together as a team. We were coming off two wins against Pace, played together and we will continue to do our jobs,” said Dumont.
The Owls now have an overall record of 12-8 after winning the weekend series in Massachusetts at American International College, 3-1.
Looking ahead to the rest of the season, the Owls have 12 games remaining on the season, ending the 2021 campaign in Albany, New York versus Saint Rose College.
“To prepare for these last few games, we have jacked up the speed on pitching machines to have the players catch up,” said Rispoli.
The Owls currently hold the number three spot in the Southwest Division standings in the Northeast 10 Conference Division. A playoff push is on Rispoli’s mind, looking to grab her first title.
“Everybody wants to play for a championship,” said Rispoli. “Now that all these teams are going to be in the playoffs, everyone is firing on all cylinders. We’re thrilled, excited. We want the chance to play and can’t wait to get back out there and compete.”