Hall softball sweeps St. Peter’s doubleheader
The Seton Hall softball team defeated St. Peter’s in their two games on Wednesday, improving the Pirates to 15-12 before starting conference play this weekend.
The second game saw five lead changes, which began when St. Peter’s loaded the bases in the third before a two-run single, giving the Peahens a 3-1 edge.
St. Peter’s, however, didn’t hold the lead for long.
In the third, junior leadoff hitter Brittany Hammer, who became the 12th player in school history to go 4-for-4, shot one of her three doubles to set the tone for the rest of the Pirates.
Freshman Danielle DeStaso followed suit and hit a two-run home run, putting Seton Hall back on top, 4-3, before sophomore Meredith Henze doubled, increasing the Pirates’ lead to 5-3.
But, again, the Peahens fought back.
With the bases loaded and no outs, head coach Ray Vander May brought in freshman Casey Moses to relive junior Brooke Tull on the circle.
Despite the new pitcher, freshman Nicole Olmedo took one swing and nailed one out of the park, retaking the lead for St. Peter’s, 7-5.
“It got to a point where we were like we can’t lose,” DeStaso said. “It hit us that we were losing at one point, and we knew that we couldn’t let that happen.”
And Seton Hall didn’t let it happen.
Hammer, once again, started it all for the Pirates with another double to centerfield.
Senior Laura Canulli cut the deficit to one with a single to bring Hammer home before fellow senior catcher Nicole Loewenstein hit another double, tying the score at seven a piece in the fourth.
DeStaso then brought in Loewenstein with a single for the go ahead, 8-7.
In the fifth, freshman Sara Haefeli slammed her first collegiate career homerun to extend the Pirates’ lead to 10-7, and ultimately seal the victory.
“It definitely comes down to everyone hitting overall,” DeStaso said. “When you come out with 10 runs, it’s because everyone’s hitting, and everyone’s getting on base and making things happen. It’s not just the one play.”
In the first match, after giving up a run in the fourth inning, Seton Hall quickly recovered by swinging away on offense. With her single, senior Kristen Kaelin knocked in a pair of runs and Loewenstein made the score 5-1 with another single.
DeStaso took care of the rest, winning her third straight-decision after throwing a complete-game.
After helping coach Seton Hall’s softball team for the previous two years, St. Peter’s assistant coach Bridget Burt, who is also a Seton Hall professor, had a different view of the game at Ivy Hill Park on Wednesday.
“I thought I knew how to pitch to Brittany Hammer,” Burt said. “But she just tore up everything we threw at her.”
Burt, who has also known DeStaso for the past 12 years and helped her with hitting lessons and club seasons, had mixed emotions of watching DeStaso win the first game, hit a homerun, and come into the save the second match.
“It was bitter sweet,” Burt said. “But the team’s hitting has really come around since last year.”
The softball team returns to the field Saturday, March 24 when the Pirates begin conference play against Connecticut.
Krissy Wrobel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.