Softball Getting Ready To Take On Rowan In NJAC Tournament First Round
By Ryan Gaydos
After another successful season under Margie Acker, the Kean University softball team is looking to win its third New Jersey Athletic Conference championship in the last four years as it gets set to take on Rowan Tuesday on the road.
The Cougars were 25-15-1 this season and was 10-8 in the conference. However, the road into the NCAA Tournament will not be easy as the Cougars have to face the No. 1 seeded Profs.
Kean was swept March 29 in a double header at home against Rowan and was outscored in those games by a combined total of 13-2.
Sophomore Courtney Yard will most likely start in the game against Rowan and will have to continue to pitch as well as she has in April. This season, Yard is 15-11 with a 1.22 ERA and has already broke the all-time Cougars softball record for strikeouts this season. In 2013, she has 187 strikeouts and she will need to be on fire to take on Rowan.
The top of the batting order will also be important. Meghan Cegielski and Kelly Moorehead are both important pieces to the Cougars lineup and for them to get on base and score early will help Yard’s confidence moving through each inning.
Rowan is 35-5 this season and only lost twice in NJAC play. The Profs have only lost twice in the month of April; Saturday to Montclair State and April 9 to Richard Stockton College.
Krysti Maronski has been virtually unhittable has she holds a 0.80 ERA with a 12-2 record in 20 appearances. Hitters only bat .220 against her. Teammate LeAnne Miller has also been dominant with a 0.84 ERA in 24 appearances and a 19-2 record. Hitters have batted .224 against her.
It might take a blue moon, but both pitchers can make mistakes and the defense behind them is not terrific. It is possible for Kean to knock them off in the first round but it is not going to be easy.