By Matt Ambrose,
Sports Business Writer
Both the Seton Hall baseball and softball teams are well into Big East Conference play, as both teams look to position themselves for a spot in the Big East Tournament. Let’s take a look at how things have gone for both sides over the past couple weeks.
For the baseball team, they have had a slow start to Big East play, losing two of three to Butler at home earlier this month, as well as losing two of three to Xavier over Easter weekend. In the series against Butler, offense, much like it has been all season for the Pirates, was inconsistent. Aside from their 7-1 victory in the middle game of the series, the Pirates could only muster a combined three runs against the Butler pitching staff. In those two losses, the Pirates left nine men on base in each game.
Against the Xavier Musketeers, the Pirates again dropped two out of three in the series. In the two losses in the series, the Pirates were outscored 11-1 and left 12 men on base. The victory came in the middle game of the series yet again, however this time it came in dramatic fashion as a five-run ninth inning gave the Pirates a 6-3 comeback win.
While inconsistencies have plagued this Pirates team, they hope the momentum from their midweek games against in-state rivals Rutgers can propel them forward down the stretch. The Pirates swept the home-and-home midweek series, capped off by a 12-inning, five-hour marathon game on Wednesday night, in which the Pirates won on a walk-off inside-the-park home run by Rob Dadona. The Pirates have three more series’ against Big East foes after this weekend’s tilt with the Georgetown Hoyas, as they look to return to the Big East Tournament in Ohama, Nebraska, which will begin on May 25th.
For the softball team, their offense has been just the opposite of the baseball team’s, as they have a .294 team average and average 5.4 runs per game. After dropping two of their first three conference games to Villanova last month, they proceeded to win four of their next six Big East games – two against Georgetown and two against DePaul – to put them at 5-4 in Big East play entering Easter weekend. After a walk-off win over Hofstra on April 11th, the Pirates went to Omaha to take on the Creighton Blue Jays.
All of the Pirates’ momentum was squashed, as the Pirates were outscored 15-5 in a three-game sweep. The series included an 8-0 win by mercy rule for Creighton, as well as a 3-2 walk-off win for the Blue Jays in which the Pirates allowed two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to lose. The Pirates were able to rebound in their midweek game, however, as they took down Central Connecticut State 6-0 last Tuesday.
The Pirates bats have been on fire this year. Alexis Walkden and Lauren Fischer each have double digit home run totals, and freshmen Darby Pandolfo and Hailey Arteaga have been making major contributions in the middle of the lineup.
It’s getting down to the wire for the softball squad, as nine of their final ten games will be against Big East Conference opponents. Their season concludes at home against St. John’s on May 7th.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, April 25th, 2017 print edition.
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