Softball team wins 4-3 versus Dominican University
Matt Cain – Contributor
The Owls won the first game of the doubleheader versus Dominican University
4-3 thanks to the contributions of pitcher Jessica Perucki, a senior striking out 14 batters.
Perucki gave up a couple of hits early on but managed to strike out the next six batters and got a couple of one, two, three innings. Perucki tied her season-high 14 strikeouts in this game, as it went into extra innings. Perucki has been showing up this season as she came into game one, she has a 1.63 ERA (earned run average) on the season.
Perucki would go on to pitch the whole game and get the win on the mound. That would be her eighth win of the year. Perucki also batted as well, she had four at-bats and two hits. She also had one RBI (runs batted in).
Catcher Jacquline Dumont, a graduate student showed up as always. She too would have four at-bats and two hits. With the Owls splitting the doubleheader, game one would have a lot of positive outcomes. One of those being the defense. Led by Perucki on the mound and Dumont behind the plate, the defense showed up at crunch time.
“Our defense showed up, they showed their athleticism by driving for balls and playing well,” Dumont said.
The Owl’s defense kept the game close as they did not cause any errors in the game. The Owls trailed for most of the game until Dumont singled to right field in the bottom of the sixth inning. That would score the pinch runner, junior pitcher, and outfielder Nataile Scotto.
That would be Dumont’s second RBI on the day. With the Owls trailing for most of the game, the team stayed calm and composed. This however is not something the team practiced, this team is filled with upperclassmen and seniors. Staying calm became second nature to the team.
“Staying calm starts with the upperclassmen. We have a lot of them so that is where it comes from,” Assistant Coach Kelly Paterson said.
Being down one run the Owls showed no signs of panic. Perucuki would flyout three Dominican University batters in the top of the 10th. In the bottom of the 10th
Infielder Nadia Cestari, a freshman started at second and then would move up to third on a sacrifice fly from outfielder Ally Petrella, a graduate student.
Cestari eventually scored and sealed the win in game one. Paterson loved how the Owls played in the first game. Offensively the bats were not on fire, which caused the owls to fall behind early in the game.
Head Coach Jillan Rispoli also saw the positives in game one, other than the win. Which was staying calm but also making the right play at the right time.
“We struggled with some defense early on in the season, now it has become a strength as we move forward,” Rispoli said.
Rispoli makes practices just as if they were games. This way everything will come naturally in games like these. The Owls’ fielding percentage has risen since the start of the season. They also cut down the errors and played a lot of high-IQ softball since their first game.
The Owls are coming close to the end of the season, they look to grab every win they can and finish the season strong. As the season nears its end, the coaches just want the team to keep swinging the bats. Dumont, the leading hitter on the team and captain, just wants to maintain but also encourages her teammate to stay strong through the back-half of the season.
With the season concluding in a few weeks, the Owls will not make the Northeast 10 playoffs, but are going to give their all in the final games.
“We just need to stay strong and get through these few games,” Rispoli said.