NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Some timely hitting in game one capped with an offensive onslaught in game two lifted the Monroe College softball team to a doubleheader sweep of NAIA school, SUNY Delhi, in the 2016 home opener played at City Park in New Rochelle on Saturday. The Mustangs took the opener, 8-7, in eight innings, and crushed the Broncos in the second game, 14-1.
Delhi jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the opener with runs in the third and fourth innings. Monroe tied the game in the bottom of the fourth by scoring twice. The Mustangs used a pair of hits, one Delhi error and a walk to tie the score. Key hits were a leadoff single from Yalitza Rodriguez and an RBI base hit by Chayne Dauo.
The Broncos responded with three runs in the fifth to regain the lead, 5-2. However, in a rare feat, Monroe scored twice in the bottom of the inning on a pair of inside the park homeruns from Cassidy Wootten (to left center) and Rodriguez (to right center). The Mustangs trailed 5-4.
After another Delhi run in the seventh put them up 6-4, Monroe used its final at-bat to tie the score with two runs. Taylor White reached on an error and stole second. Rodriguez drove her in with an RBI single to make the score 6-5. She stole second and moved to third on a base hit from Carly Coleman. Gabrielle Placencia loaded the bases with an infield hit and Dauo evened the score at 6-6 with a sacrifice fly that plated Rodriguez. The game went into extra innings.
Monroe minimized damage in the top of the eighth, allowing just one run and gunning down a runner at the plate. They went to back trailing 7-6 in the bottom of the eighth.
Due to international tiebreaker rules, Crystal Estrada opened the frame on second base. Leidaly Garcia bunted for a hit and Estrada moved to third. Garcia stole second without a throw. From there, a game-winning, two RBI single from Wootten lifted Monroe to an 8-7 win.
The second game wasn't as thrilling, but it was certainly as fulfilling as the Mustangs jumped ahead early and cruised to a 14-1 lead. They scored six times in the first, twice in the second and once in the third and were ahead 9-1 after three innings. Wootten, White, Rodriguez, Dauo and Coleman all collected hits in the first, with an inside the park homer for Coleman. A single by Rodriguez and a sacrifice fly from Placencia accounted for the two runs in the second. A Coleman single and Wootten triple notched the run in the third.
Monroe scored five times in the fourth to go ahead 14-1. The game ended after four-and-a-half innings due to the eight run rule. The runs in the fourth came off an RBI base hit by Placencia that scored Joansley Espinal and Yeisy Cruz. Coleman and Genesis Calderon added RBI singles and the other run scored on a wild pitch.
In the two games, Placencia had three hits, drove in three and scored twice. Rodriguez had six hits, four runs scored and three RBI.
The doubleheader scheduled with Ulster County College for Sunday, March 20, has been cancelled due to the impending inclement weather in the New Rochelle area. The Monroe College softball team will return to action on Tuesday, March 22, when they host the County College of Morris. The first pitch is slated for 3:00 PM.