CAA Frontrunner Hofstra Blanks Seahawks
Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications
HEMPSTEAD, New York - Junior Olivia Galati pitched 16 shutout innings and went 4-for-7 with three RBI at the plate to lead Hoftra to a doubleheader sweep of UNCW, 7-0 and 1-0, in Colonial Athletic Association softball action Friday at the Hofstra Softball Stadium.
Winners of 32 of its last 34 contests, the Pride improved to 34-13 overall and remained undefeated in conference play at 18-0. The Seahawks, meanwhile, moved to 9-44 and 4-16. The two teams will conclude the regular season Saturday with a single contest starting at 11 a.m.
Galati struck out 25 batters during the twin bill, including 15 in the nightcap, as she improved to 26-7 on the season and extended her school-record winning streak to 25 games. The West Babylon, N.Y., product scattered six hits, all of which occurred in the second contest, as she pitched her second career perfect game in the opener.
Galati's four hits and three runs batted in highlighted a Hofstra lineup that notched 11 hits on the afternoon. Senior Michelle Lavagnino, junior Rachael Senatore and freshman Erin Trippi pitched in two hits apiece while Trippi and junior Tessa Ziemba drove in two runs each.
For the Seahawks, freshman Casey Rowland delivered a strong pitching performance of her own in the nightcap, keeping the Pride without a hit through the first eight innings of game two before Hofstra was finally able to break through with two hits and the winning run in the bottom of the ninth. Rowland fanned 10 batters in the nightcap as she moved into sole possession of third place on the program's single season strikeouts chart during the contest.
Freshmen Jordan Critcher and Kristen Jernigan tallied two hits each for UNCW in game two while senior Kelsey Eddinger and junior Lauryn Buckworth accounted for the Seahawks other two hits.
Hofstra jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning of game one, as a RBI single by Galati and a two-run double from Trippi staked the Pride to the early advantage.
A bases-loaded single in the bottom of the fifth by Ziemba brought home two runs and stretched the Pride advantage to 5-0 before a RBI groundout by Bigler and a single by Galati put Hofstra ahead, 7-0.
That would be all the support that Galati would need, retiring all 21 UNCW batters she faced in order for her seventh career no-hitter and her fourth this season.
In game two, Galati and Rowland engaged in a classic pitchers' duel as the two hurlers combined to allow just eight hits and struck out 25 batters. The game would go to extra innings as Rowland worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the second while Galati avoided giving up her first run of the day in the seventh, retiring the Seahawks in order after the first two batters of the inning reached base on back-to-back base hits.
In the bottom of the ninth, Senatore opened the frame with a leadoff triple to center field. After Rowland was able to retire the next batter on a fly out, Galati ripped a one-out offering through the left side of the infield to plate the winning run.