NEW YORK, N.Y. – Despite not playing in over three weeks, The University of Scranton softball team continued its strong start to the 2018 season on Friday, sweeping a non-conference doubleheader at Hunter. The Royals, who last played on March 15 in Florida due to a plethora of postponements since returning north, improved to 10-2 on the spring while stretching their winning streak to eight games.
Morgan Rentzheimer (Allentown, Pa./Parkland) tied the all-time Scranton recording for pitching victories with her game one win in the circle. The senior, who is currently tied with Sue Moore (1981-1984) with 38 wins, will have a chance to break the record on Saturday when the Royals play their first-ever games on Magis Field at the Quinn Athletics Campus.
In Friday's opener against the Hawks (4-10), Scranton poured on eight runs over the final three innings to pull away with a 9-1 victory in six innings.
The Royals opened the scoring in the top of the second on an RBI double from Mackenzie Duffy (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./Lackawanna Trail), but Hunter leveled the contest in the bottom half of the frame on a solo home run.
It was all Scranton after that though as another RBI double from Duffy in the visitor's fourth put the Royals back in front before the visitors made it a 3-1 game the following inning on an RBI base hit up the middle from Rentzheimer.
Scranton turned it into a rout by plating six runs on six hits and one error by the Hawks to take the eight-run advantage. Megan Zinn (Bridgewater, N.J./Bridgewater-Raritan), Casey DeSarno (Wall Township, N.J./Wall), and Maggie Donnelly (New Hyde Park, N.Y./Our Lady of Mercy Academy) belted RBI singles while Rentzheimer added an RBI double in the frame.
Duffy went 4-4 with a pair of RBI, Rentzheimer added three hits and drove in two runs, and Zinn finished with a pair of hits for the Royals, who pounded out 14 hits in the victory.
Rentzheimer improved to 5-1 on the season and matched Moore's career record of 38 wins by spinning a complete game, four-hitter while striking out five batters on the day.
In Friday's nightcap, Scranton used a pair of big innings to overcome and early 1-0 deficit to complete the sweep of the Hawks with an 8-1 win.
Hunter took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a sacrifice fly before the Royals' bats returned to life in the visitor's third as Scranton put up five runs on six hits to claim a 5-1 lead. Jennifer Sweeney (Dumont, N.J./Dumont) got the rally started with a three-run home run before Rentzheimer and Brianna Lehr (Byram Township, N.J./Pope John XXIII Regional) delivered RBI singles.
Scranton tacked on three more runs in the fifth inning to close out the scoring. Rentzheimer drove in another run, this time with a double, before Lehr connected on her second RBI single of the contest. Rentzheimer scored the Royals' final run as Lehr was thrown out attempting to steal second.
In addition to her big shot at the plate, Sweeney led the Royals to the victory by tossing five innings in which she scattered five hits while improving to 4-1 on the season. Caitlin Long (Ho Kus, N.J./Northern Highlands Regional) closed out the game with a pair of scoreless innings and one hit against.
The Royals, who totaled 12 hits in the second game, were paced by Rentzheimer's 3-for-3, two RBI effort in the nightcap while Lehr had two hits and drove in two. Anna Price (Bordentown, N.J./Bordentown Regional) also collected a pair of hits and scored twice while DeSarno also crossed the plate safely twice in the win.
Scranton will play its first-ever games on the brand new Magis Field at the Kevin P. Quinn, S.J. Athletics Campus on Saturday against Cazenovia. First pitch of the non-conference doubleheader between the Royals and Wildcats is set for 1:00 p.m. in Scranton.