William Paterson Suffers Worst Loss of the Season Against Kean

Gregory Shepherd, Staff Writer

William Paterson dropped both games of a home doubleheader against No. 23 Kean University, 10-1 and 13-0, its largest defeat of the season.

The Cougars came in boasting a four game-winning streak, while the Pioneers lost their previous matchup and hoped to quickly end that stretch against their conference foe.

The Pioneers came out aggressive in the early innings of game one. In the bottom of the third inning, a single driven to left field from junior pitcher Andee Lupica would bring home freshman Jamaya Espino, who was on second after advancing from a ground out following a walk.

With a 1-0 lead heading into the fourth inning, William Paterson kept the game right there offensively and defensively. The Pioneers held Kean to only one run on four hits. The Cougars broke the game open in the top of the fifth, scoring their first run off of an RBI single just out of senior Christine Griffith’s reach at third base. In the top of the sixth, the score was deadlocked at 1-1 before Kean rattled off 11 straight hits. In their last attempt, the Pioneers would come up short with groundouts from Lupica and freshman Caitlin Monahan, and a strikeout from pinch hitter Lauren Naveo. Kean would go on to score nine unanswered runs to run away with the win.

Game two didn’t prove to be any easier for William Paterson, as Kean’s relentless hitting performance from the sixth inning of game one carried over to the start of the second game of the doubleheader. An error in the top of the first gave the Cougars an early 1-0 lead. The Pioneers’ defensive woes continued in the second, resulting in another game-changing inning from the Cougars. It began with a walk, a fielding error, a hit-by-pitch, two singles and two runs to cause the Pioneers to bring in sophomore pitcher Caitlyn Massaro from the bullpen.

The Pioneers eventually got out of the devastating eight-run inning, four hits and four runs later. The Pioneers’ struggles on defense seemed to affect them on the other side of the plate as well. For the duration of the game, they got on base four times but failed to put any runs on the board.

After allowing seven of the 10 runs in game 1 in five innings, Massaro moved to a 7-6 record. After six starts, Lupica, the starting pitcher for game two, is now 2-4 after giving up six runs in 1 ⅓ innings. As for the Pioneers as a team ,their record moves to 16-14 with an NJAC record of 3-9. Despite the loss against their second-seeded conference rival, the Pioneers look to improve their rank as the No. 9 seed with three conference matchups left in the season against Rutgers-Camden, Montclair State and the College of New Jersey. The NJAC tournament is set for Tuesday, April 30, with locations yet to be announced.