By Malcolm Luck
With the regular season finale around the corner, freshman pitcher/infielder Alanna Namit is preparing to dominate in the playoffs.
Namit got the College’s five-win week started in the first game of its doubleheader against Stockton University on April 17 at Dr. June Walker Field. She hurled her first no-hitter of the week, holding her opponent hitless in five innings while the Lions’ offense generated eight runs, cruising past Stockton, 8-0.
In the back end of the doubleheader, the Lions found themselves in an early 1-0 hole after the first inning. In the third, the College regained the lead after an RBI double off the bat of senior outfielder Madison Levine, followed by an RBI single by freshman infielder Lauren Conroy in the next plate appearance.
Junior catcher Jess McGuire blasted a home run to left field in the bottom of the third to add an insurance run. Senior pitcher Sam Platt froze Stockton and tossed a complete game, earning her sixth win of the season.
Despite playing four games in 26 hours, the Lions didn’t stop grinding out wins in their home doubleheader against William Paterson University on April 18. Junior outfielder Gaby Bennett got things started for the Lions in the first game, sneaking a two-run single through the right side in the bottom of the first inning to give the College a 2-0 lead.
Bennett struck again with a double in the bottom of the third, adding another RBI. McGuire brought Bennett home on an RBI single just one batter later. Five runs proved to be plenty as Namit only allowed one run in seven innings, propelling the Lions to a 5-1 win.
In the second game, Platt allowed two runs in the top of first inning, putting the Lions in an early 0-2 deficit. William Paterson didn’t hold the lead for long as the College bounced back in the bottom of the first, scoring a run on a passed ball before Conroy singled to left field to tie the game at two.
In the bottom of the third, Conroy added another run with an RBI single. McGuire struck a two-run double to extend the lead to 5-2. The Lions never looked back as they won with a final score of 9-3.
Kean University proved to be no match for Namit as she took the mound for the first game of the College’s doubleheader on Saturday, April 21 in Union, New Jersey. For the second time in the five games, she threw a no-hitter, striking out 13 batters. Her commanding performance marks her fourth no-hitter of the season.
Head coach Sally Miller praised Namit’s pitch velocity and movement.
“Alanna has a lot of movement on her pitches, combined with the fact that she throws hard is the advantage that she brings with all her pitches.”
Kean, however, bounced back and won the second game, never giving the Lions a chance to hold the lead. Platt surrendered two runs in the first inning. The Lions cut the deficit in half when McGuire hit a sacrifice fly in the top of the fourth. Kean countered with another run in the bottom of the fifth.
After McGuire smacked a home run in the sixth and Conroy ripped an RBI single in the seventh, Kean freshman utility player Katie Debbie hit a walk-off double to send the Lions back home with a 4-3 loss.
“We had a little breakdown defensively in game two with Kean which hasn’t happened since our first set of games,” Miller said. “We need to stay focused and have a consistent pre-pitch approach to whoever is pitching to opposing hitters. We have had the same approach all years in many areas.”
The Lions return to the diamond on Saturday, April 28 for a doubleheader against Montclair State University at Dr. June Walker Field at 1 p.m.