LYNDHURST, N.J. – Junior right-hander Ashley Owens (Lockport, N.Y./Starpoint) set Felician University's career record for pitching victories as the Golden Falcons completed a sweep of their Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference softball doubleheader from visiting Nyack College with a 9-0, five-inning, Game 2 victory on Wednesday afternoon at the Lyndhurst Recreation Complex. Felician earned a walkoff 3-2 win in Game 1.
Felician (20-23, 11-11) is one of seven CACC softball teams jockeying for four available playoff positions. Wednesday's two victories moved the Golden Falcons from a three-way tie for ninth place into a four-way tie for fifth. The top eight teams at season's end advance to the conference tournament. Felician has four games remaining.
Owens (12-13) started Game 2 and pitched four shutout frames. She allowed four singles, struck out two batters and walked one. She earned the 31st win of her Felician career, breaking her tie with Dara DeSocio (2005-08) for the Golden Falcon record.
For 3 ½ innings, Owens was locked in a 1-0 game with the Warriors, with the Golden Falcon run coming on a Racquel Manzo (Whittier, Calif./La Habra) RBI double in the second inning. But the hosts broke the game open in the fourth by scoring four times, receiving two-run singles from Jaimie Parisi (Hackensack, N.J./Hackensack) and Bella Davis (Chula Vista, Calif./Eastlake), both freshmen.
After Erin Powers (Aberdeen, N.J./Matawan Regional) relieved Owens and pitched a scoreless fifth, Felician loaded the bases with none out in the home half. Manzo blasted a fly ball to straightaway center field that hit off the top of the fence and fell behind it for a grand slam home run, ending the game on the NCAA eight-run rule.
Manzo finished 3 for 3 with five RBI and Steph Donah (Clark, N.J./Arthur L. Johnson) scored three runs for the Golden Falcons. Nyack's Alissa Brugnoli (Hamilton, N.J.) was 2 for 3.
Felician captured Game 1 on a walkoff bunt single by freshman designated player Nicole Spiegelberg (Blauvelt, N.Y./Tappan Zee). With the game even at 2-2, Jeannette Roldan (Hesperia, Calif./Oak Hills) led off the bottom of the seventh inning with a double, and was sacrificed to third base by Duenas. Warrior third baseman Sarah Spindel (Gilroy, Calif.) snared a hard ground ball for the second out, holding Roldan at third. But Spiegelberg bunted a change-up and a rushed throw was unable to retire her at first, plating Roldan with the winning run.
Donah hit a two-run second-inning homer for Felician, but Nyack sophomore pitcher Stephanie White (Hamilton, N.J.) kept the hosts off the scoreboard again until the seventh. The Warriors (7-35, 5-19) reached Owens for an unearned run in the fourth, then tied the game off of Powers (7-5) on Aferdita Sinanaj's (Tappan, N.Y.) sixth-inning RBI triple.
Spiegelberg joined Roldan and Duenas with two hits each for Felician, which saw five of its nine hits go for extra bases. White struck out one and walked two over 6 2/3 innings for the Warriors, and Sinanaj had a double and a triple.
Felician travels to Holy Family University for a make-up doubleheader on Friday, then completes the season with a twinbill at Chestnut Hill College on Saturday.