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Softball wins both games in double header

Avery Martin- Contributor

Despite the rain, the Owls pulled off a win in both games of their home opening doubleheader on Wednesday, March 20. 

In the first game, they swept Mercy University with a score of 7-1. The second game was closer, with a score of 6-4.  

In game one, pitcher Jessica Perucki, a graduate, dominated, only allowing one unearned run. Perucki struck out seven and only gave up three hits. 

Photo: Neil Bainton

“I think it was a great game. We started out a little slow, couldn’t string together a bunch of hits. Then we picked it up as we kept going, and that’s all you can ask for. Just keep grinding and keep pushing through,” Perucki said. 

Head Coach Jillian Rispoli credited the veteran pitcher as being the driving force behind the Owls’ success. Rispoli added that when she puts on such a performance, it is a motivation. 

“That was a fantastic pitching performance by Jessica Perucki. It was absolutely outstanding,” said Rispoli, “Offensively, it took us a while to get into it, but we pulled it together at the end because we had to since Jess was so darn good.” 

On the offensive side, catcher Gabby Festa, a junior, went 2-3, scoring the Owls’ only home run of the game and an RBI single. Perucki followed her standout pitching with a two-run single in the fourth inning.  

Runs also came from outfielder Emily Lange, a senior, catcher Karley Austin, a freshman, and utility player Dominique DeLutri, a junior. 

The last two innings were where the offense was fired up. 

“I think we made a great team effort. I think we really strung them together in that last inning to get that win for Jess. It was a great win overall. We worked together really well,” said catcher Gabriella Festa, a junior.  

Overall, game one was a much-needed win. The Owls ended a three-game losing streak. Perucki said that the win gave the team momentum going into the second game of the doubleheader. 

“It feels great. We’ve been playing great games, just kind of coming under the punch with everything,” Perucki said. “But just to bring it out on the home field and get a big win is really nice.” 

Game two would be shorter than the first, with rain halting the game in the 5th inning. Despite that, the Owls would take the 6-4 win. 

Festa said it was important to keep the strong momentum of the first game going.  

“Just got to stay fired up, stay on the gas. Got to come into the second game strong knowing that we could win, and pop off with the same energy,” Festa said. 

Pitcher Ashley Lewis, a sophomore, had the task of following up Perucki’s stellar performance. Lewis rose to the occasion, scoring her first win of the season, giving up six hits and striking out five.  

Offensively, second baseman Katrina Roy, a senior, scored a run and stole two bases. Lange would follow that up with a momentous run in the fourth, which allowed shortstop Nadia Cestari, a sophomore, to give the Owls the lead.  

The Owls are back in action on Tuesday, March 26 against Bloomfield College. 

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