Although the Seton Hall baseball team is taking its show on the road and playing home games in Staten Island and Queens due to renovations to Owen T. Carroll Field, the temporary move allows for the softball team to step into the campus spotlight even more.
As of April 10, the softball team is 16-16; it has been red hot as of late and have the pieces in place to compete in Big East play. The team struggled out of the gate, just like the baseball team did, but is warming up as the season progresses, winning four of its last five games and winning key matchups against Villanova and Butler.
The high batting averages of the top six hitters in the lineup have spearheaded the recent surge. Hailey Arteaga started the season on fire, maintaining a .404 batting average. Arteaga has started all 32 games, making her average all the more impressive and rare. Arteaga is also tied for second on the team with four home runs and leads the Pirates in hits and RBIs with 40 and 26, respectively.
Janae Barracato has a .333 batting average and has arguably been the biggest contributor in this recent stretch of winning. Her grand slam effectively sealed one of the wins over Villanova and she contributed two hits and four RBIs in a victory over Butler on April 6.
Jaden Tate has a .308 batting average with one home run and 15 RBIs. However, her one home run saved the Pirates from the abyss, as it won a game against Villanova that turned the season around after a 16-0 loss to the Wildcats the day before. Destini Peck and Kathryn Matthys have split time at catcher and designated hitter and both have high averages – Peck has a .304 batting average with three home runs and 19 RBIs and Matthys has a .315 average in limited action.
Baylee Allender and Darby Pandolfo have lower averages than their counterparts do at .264 and .253, respectively, but they supply power hitting with six and four home runs. Allender and Pandolfo are typical of many power hitters in that when they don’t hit for power, they strike out, which explains their lower averages.
The team will rely heavily on this group to continue driving the pace, and if they do, success in the Big East seems inevitable.
Matthew Collins can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Matt98533108.