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Hitting the ground running

Seton Hall Athletics

Coming off a spotless weekend, the Seton Hall University softball team looks to continue their hot start when they kick off play at the San Diego State Campbell Cartier Classic. Friday, Feb. 13.

The Pirates went 5-0 at the North Texas Invitational and leading them to the tournament title were senior Sara Haefeli and sophomore Lauren Fischer. Both players were named to the Big East softball weekly honor roll for their efforts.

Haefeli hit a remarkable .529 with a 1.529 slugging percentage, crushing five home runs and two doubles, to drive in 12 runs and score nine times. In Seton Hall's 17-6 win over North Texas, which saw the Pirates set program single-game records for runs scored (17) and home runs (8), Haefeli went yard three times, making her the first player in program history to do so.

“I was seeing the ball really well this weekend,” Haefeli said. “I just wanted to make sure that I was relaxed and in control, and because of that, my swing felt smooth and strong.”

That smooth swing has been a problem for opponents throughout Haefeli’s career as it was actually the second multi-home run game of Haefeli's career, she hit two homers in a win at Saint Peter's back in 2013.

Entering the weekend, Haefeli had 10-career home runs, and with five at North Texas, vaulted all the way up to 10th-place in program history with 15 in her career.

Overall, she had four multi-hit games in five starts. Against Texas Southern on Saturday, Feb. 7, she went 2-for-3 with a home run and a double, driving in three runs and scoring twice.

“I am just happy I was able to produce for my team,” the senior stated. “Every game was a great team win. Together we had 14 homeruns, every hitter put the ball in play and made something happen. It is just a testament to how talented the girls are. It was a great thing to see.”

What was also great to see was Fischer’s performance from the pitching circle. She was dominant in a pair of wins over Texas Southern. On Saturday against the Tigers, Seton Hall won 10-2 in five innings, with Fischer giving up just a pair of unearned runs while yielding a single base hit with four strikeouts in five innings of work.

“I was just able to hit my spots and fool the hitters,” Fischer said. “It was great to help the team win and we just have to continue the success all season.”

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Fischer started against the same Tiger squad on Sunday, Feb. 8, and had similar results. Over six innings, Fischer scattered six hits, giving up a pair of earned runs with four more strikeouts.

In 11 innings of action at the tournament, she posted a 1.64 earned run average, a .167 opponent batting average, and struck out eight while allowing just a pair of earned runs. Fischer won twice, matching her win total from all of last year.

Seton Hall’s 5-0 start is the first time the team has started with five straight wins since the 1999 season and posted impressive team offensive numbers at last weekend's tournament, batting a blistering .393 overall with a .814 team slugging percentage.

The Pirates kick off play at the 25th Annual Campbell/Cartier Classic in San Diego, Calif., on Friday, Feb. 13. The field features San Diego State, North Dakota State, Central Michigan and Oregon State. The Pirates get tournament play started on Friday against North Dakota State at 5 p.m. (ET).


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