It was the fourth inning that proved to be fatal for the Pirates on Tuesday. Giving up a combined nine hits and 12 runs in that inning over two games ultimately led to Hofstra sweeping the doubleheader by way of 8-0 in game one and 9-1 in an eight run rule shortened game two that only lasted five innings.
“They kept adjusting and adjusting,” said Seton Hall head coach Paige Smith. “They’re (Hofstra) a great offense.”
The Pride showed off that offensive capability in the second game of the day by jumping on the Hall early. They were able to push two runs across on Pirate starter junior Jen Metzger in the first. Metzger managed to quiet the Hofstra bats until the aforementioned dreaded fourth inning came along.
She was taken out after 3.2 innings giving up eight runs, seven of them earned, and five hits. It was the walks that plagued the junior as she allowed six free passes, inevitably getting herself in trouble and resulting in her eighth loss of the year.
But if there was one bright spot on the day for Seton Hall it was sophomore Casey Moses. Moses was called on to come in relief in both games, and in both instances she worked out of jams. She came on in relief of Metzger and subsequently handled the Pride with ease, escaping the fourth by only allowing an unearned run, and then shutting down the hot Hofstra bats for an inning.
“I was just trying to shut them down and give us another chance to get up to the plate and turn the game our way, Moses said. “I throw my changeup a lot to get hitters off balance, so that was working really good today, and our catcher Kaylyn (Sanbower) was framing pitches great, getting me lots of calls.”
The Pirates did plate one run in the fifth after Moses decided to take matters into her own hands by leading off the fifth with a double to left. She moved over on a single to left from sophomore Colltey Sheldon, and eventually scored when freshman Yasmin Harrell brought her home on a sac fly to left.
But that was all the Pirates could manage against Hofstra freshman Maggie Hawkins who, in her first career start, went 4.1 innings and only allowed one run on four hits. After the lone run, the Pride were ready to end things as they called on game one starter and team ace senior Olivia Galati to get the final two outs, which she did with relative ease.
In the first game of the day the Pirates hung tough for the first three innings, but a talented Hofstra team showed just how talented they were in, of course, a big fourth inning. The Pride pushed across five runs including a pair of homeruns in the disastrous fourth. Galati earned her 25th win of the year for Hofstra, and sophomore Danielle DeStaso was hit for her 11th loss of the season.
DeStaso managed to work out of some early trouble leaving runners on in each of the first three innings, but after Jess Hirschbul went yard to leadoff the fourth, and then a hit batter, a single, and an error, nine hole hitter Kim Smith sent one over the left field wall making it 5-0 and sending DeStaso out of the game.
Moses came on in relief and was able to weather the storm. She escaped the fourth unscathed, getting three straight outs after relinquishing a leadoff single.
“I worked down in the zone to get us ground balls because I know we have a great defense,” Moses said.
She was touched up a bit in the sixth and seventh, allowing two unearned runs in the sixth on three hits, and giving up a round tripper in the seventh.
But it didn’t matter what Moses did, as Hofstra’s ace, Galati, was stellar going the distance for the Pride while fanning nine, not allowing a walk, and scattering five hits.
Seton Hall junior Maria DeLuca seemed to be the only Pirate able to figure out Galati as she had a pair of singles, going 2-3 off the ace.
The Pirates fell to 14-23, while the Pride of Hofstra continued their winning ways improving to 29-10 on the year. Seton Hall will be back in action this weekend, as they travel to take on the Syracuse Orange.
Daniel Keefe can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.