MONTCLAIR >> The No. 21 Rowan University softball team clinched the top seed in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Championship Tournament after two wins at Montclair State, 8-1 and 3-2, May 1 here.
The Profs finished 18-1 in the conference and will get a bye in the first round on Tuesday, May 4. Rowan (25-5) will host a second round best of three series on Friday and Saturday, May 7-8. The Red Hawks are 13-7 overall and 12-6 in the conference.
In the opener, right hander Emily August (12-2) only allowed three hits in the win and had four strikeouts. Shortstop Payton MacNair contributed with two doubles and two RBIs. First baseman Mackenzie Short recorded a solo home run. Center fielder Sarah Brosman added one hit, two RBIs and two runs.
Third baseman Breanna Bryant totaled two hits and two RBIs. Second baseman Sophia Sharma and catcher Korie Hague each chipped in with three and two hits respectively. Pinch hitter Zoe Frisko had a double and one RBI.
The Red Hawks scored their lone run in the bottom of the first inning. Short tied the score with her homer in the top of the second. The Profs pulled away with three runs in the fourth inning and four in the fifth.
In the fourth, Frisko’s double brought home designated player Kelly Duffy and put Rowan ahead 2-1. Bryant hit a two RBI single to right field. Brosman drove in two runs in the fifth and MacNair knocked in two with a double.
In the second contest, Rowan trailed 2-1 going into the sixth inning. Hague blasted a two run homer to left field for the victory. It was her first home run of the season. She ended the game with two hits and two runs.
Duffy was three for three at the plate with one RBI. Left fielder Morgan Zane registered two hits and scored one run.
Cat Thomas was the winning pitcher. Thomas (8-2) went five innings and August was the mound for the last two for her third save.
The Red Hawks led 1-0 after the first inning when shortstop Amber Powers scored on an error. Duffy hit a single to center field in the fourth, scoring Hague. In the fifth, Montclair State went ahead 2-1. Pinch runner Daliah Legenski came home on Powers’ ground out.