The University of Scranton softball team established a new record for wins in a season on Thursday night by sweeping a non-conference doubleheader from Muhlenberg at Magis Field. The Royals won by scores of 9-2 and 2-0 to improve to 29-7 and surpass the 2008 club, which went 27-14, for the most wins in a season in program history.
A fast start led Scranton to a 9-2 victory in the first game of Thursday's doubleheader as the Royals put up five runs in the first inning and never looked back.
Scranton jumped out to a 5-0 advantage in the bottom of the first Thursday's opener, sending nine batters to the plate and using four hits, one walk, and one error by the Mules to take the early lead.
Jennifer Sweeney (Dumont, N.J./Dumont) drew a bases-loaded walk, Anna Price (Bordentown, N.J./Bordentown Regional) hit an RBI single, and Casey DeSarno (Wall Township, N.J./Wall) drove in a run with a sacrifice fly before an error by the Mules allowed the Royals' fourth and fifth runs to come home.
Megan Zinn (Bridgewater, N.J./Bridgewater-Raritan) scored for Scranton as a runner was thrown out stealing second the following inning to make it a six-run ballgame before Muhlenberg (12-22) got on the board with a two-run single in the top of the third to cut its deficit to 6-2.
DeSarno brought home Zinn with a single through the right side in the home fifth to push the host's advantage to five runs.
Scranton added a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth to build a 9-2 cushion as Mackenzie Duffy (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./Lackawanna Trail) came home when Sweeney stole second before Price connected on her second RBI base hit of the contest.
Morgan Rentzheimer (Allentown, Pa./Parkland) improved to 13-4 on the season with her sixth consecutive victory, striking out five batters in five innings with five hits against.
Meaghan Dowdell (Parlin, N.J./Old Bridge) worked a scoreless seventh inning to close out the victory, working around a walk while collecting a strikeout before getting a game-ending double play.
Zinn went 3-for-4 with two runs scored while Duffy, Price, and Molly Hampsey (Tunkhannock, Pa./Tunkhannock) added two hits apiece for the Royals, who outhit the Mules 10-5 in the contest.
In the backend of Thursday's doubleheader, Scranton plated a run in the first and third innings and that was all that the Royals would need as Sweeney fired a three-hit shutout in a 2-0 victory.
The hosts took 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first as Zinn drove in Duffy with a single to left center.
The Royals doubled their lead in the home third as Sweeney helped her own cause with an RBI base hit to center that plated Duffy to lift Scranton's lead to 2-0.
That would mark the end of the scoring on the evening as Sweeney and the Scranton defense posted the team's 10th shutout of the season.
Sweeney boosted her record to 14-3 on the spring by fanning seven batters in the complete game, three-hitter.
Duffy and Sweeney had two hits apiece for the Royals, who totaled five hits in the game two victory.
Scranton will visit Moravian on Saturday for a key Landmark Conference doubleheader with the top seed and home field advantage in the postseason tournament on the line. The Royals can claim the #1 seed by sweeping the Greyhounds, who are currently ranked 6th in the nation, while Moravian needs just one win to clinch the top spot.