NYU Softball’s Winning Streak Continues


via gonyuathletics.com

Karissa Zubulake pitched excellently for the NYU Women’s Softball team’s win against Rutgers-Newark.

Michael Thompson, Sports Editor

If the last four games are any indication of what’s to come, the NYU softball team is going to be a tough out this year.

Hot off of their two-game drubbing of Baruch last weekend, the Violets were once again firing on all cylinders on the road against Rutgers University-Newark. Led by the dominant hitting and pitching of dual threat freshman Diana King, the team returned to the .500 mark, sweeping the two-game slate on Thursday, 5-3 and 6-3.

A big fourth inning was all the Violets needed in the day’s first action. After failing to get a run on the board with a runner in scoring position on two different occasions, freshman Claire Stefanelli broke the pattern, driving in junior Molly Webber with a single to give NYU an early 1-0 lead. Freshmen Ashley Mains and Jacqueline Finn followed with consecutive hits, loading the bases for freshman Cassi Parulis. One three-run triple later and the Violets quickly had a sizeable 4-0 lead.

Rutgers slowly edged its way back, beginning with a home run by Kelsey Lucas in the fifth. Their best chance for a comeback came in the sixth. After a Liesel Johnson leadoff double and two consecutive outs, freshman Karissa Zubulake hit Brittany Robertson, putting runners on the corners. Kayla Gallo delivered with an RBI single, and Morgan Walizer loaded the bases after a fielder’s choice attempt to tag Robertson at third backfired. Yet Zubulake was able to escape the inning, forcing Elizabeth Marflak to fly out.

Both teams added one more run apiece — the Violets made it 5-2 courtesy of an RBI single from freshman Dakota Damiani, and Rutgers plated one more thanks to a Johnson double, but any serious threat Rutgers posed earlier in the game was gone. Even with several hiccups, Zubulake (3-1) did enough to get the job done, pitching a complete game and only surrendering two earned runs. Junior Rachel Fulton and Damiani both went 2-4, and Finn added two hits of her own.

King and the Violets didn’t let up in the second game of the evening, plating four runs in the second inning with a mixture of slick baserunning and power. After sophomore captain Sage Scheiwiller started the inning with a flyout, Mains singled to start the Violets rally. Freshman Allyson Schmus followed suit with a single of her own, and a bit of hustle from Mains allowed her to reach third. Schmus then stole second base, while Mains aggressively raced for home from third, making it 1-0 Violets. After freshman Sydni Holtz was retired for the second out, Parulis doubled the score with an RBI double.

But Rutgers was no match for King, who virtually defeated the team by herself, going 3-4 with 4 RBIs. She belted her fifth homer of the season in the second to extend the Violets’ lead to 4-0 in an explosive frame. Back on the mound, she was equally effective, tossing six innings of 3-run ball to earn her third win of the year.

“We were ready to come out the second game even stronger,” King said. “It’s such a great feeling to have a winning streak going, and it honestly makes us feel invincible and up for any challenge.”

The Violets added two more to their tally in the sixth, courtesy of yet another extra base hit from King, whose triple plated Parulis and freshman Olivia Mould. Rutgers made some noise in the bottom half of the inning, Marflak RBI single and Lucas sac fly. But King settled down, forcing a groundout to end the threat. Junior Jacqueline Tremblay entered in relief for the Violets in the seventh, making quick work of Rutgers to seal the win.

Back to .500 after winning four straight, the Violets will try to climb above the even mark this Saturday against Montclair State University in New Jersey.

Email Michael Thompson at [email protected].