(Union, NJ) – Richard Stockton (26-9, 9-7 NJAC) split a pair of close games in an NJAC doubleheader at Kean (23-14, 9-7) and earned their first NJAC tournament berth since 2010 in the process. The Ospreys edged the Cougars 1-0 in the first game for their seventh consecutive win and the one that clinched a playoff spot. Stockton then was no-hit and blanked 3-0 in the nightcap.
In the opener, Arielle Cooke (Brick/Brick Memorial) led off the fifth inning with a solo home run that was her first long ball of the season and produced the only run of the game. Stockton pitcher Michelle Pietrocola (North Brunswick/North Brunswick) prevailed in a pitchers' duel with Kean hurler Courtney Yard. Pietrocola tossed a four-hitter with three strikeouts and set two school records by posting her 13th win and seventh shutout of the season.
After tallying five hits in the opener, the Stockton bats went completely silent in the nightcap as Yard gained a measure of revenge by pitching a no-hitter, the second time this season that the Ospreys have gone hitless in a game. Stockton pitcher Brittany Ksiezopolski (Hillsborough/Hillsborough) gave her team a chance as she scattered six hits and fanned three while allowing two earned runs plus one unearned.
The contest remained scoreless into the sixth inning when Kean strung together three straight hits to load the bases with none out. A single, a sacrifice fly and a Stockton error resulted in three runs for the Cougars that were the difference in the 3-0 final. Cooke and Dominique Dorris (Mantua/Clearview) each walked once and two additional Ospreys reached on Kean errors but Stockton was shut out for the fifth time this season as their seven-game winning streak came to an end.
Stockton will travel to Drew University for a non-conference doubleheader on Thursday at 3 pm.