WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. -- By any standard, Friday's 13-inning marathon between the Fairfield University and Monmouth University softball teams could be considered a classic. For 12 innings, both pitching staffs would bend but never break as neither team would surrendered a run during that time frame. This game was not decided until Angelina McGuire's solo home run to lead off the 13th inning put the game's only run on the scoreboard, giving the Stags a win in the opener.
Monmouth would recover from the 1-0 setback in the second game, coming from behind to take a 5-1 win to earn a split in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) doubleheader.
While McGuire provided the deciding hit, it was pitcher Destinee Pallotto who put the Stags in position to win the 13-inning game. The junior pitched the first 11 innings of the game before yielding to Kristen Ball, who surrendered only a walk in the 12th inning. She returned to the pitching circle in the 13th but a leadoff walk sent Head Coach Julie Brzezinski back to Pallotto, who retired three hitters in addition to an intentional walk.
Pallotto retired the side in order in five of her 12 innings of work and allowed just seven hits with five walks in addition to her nine strikeouts. McGuire had two of Fairfield's four hits in the game with Ball and Amanda Ulzheimer each picking up a single in the contest.
In the second game, Fairfield scored a run in the top of the first inning to take the early lead. Ulzheimer reached on an error and went to second following a sacrifice bunt. Courtney Hankins brought the outfielder home with a base hit to spot starting pitcher Ball a lead.
Monmouth tied the score in the bottom of the first with a leadoff triple and a fielder's choice doing the damage. In the third inning, Justene Reyes launched a two-out home run to push the home team in front, 2-1. The Hawks put the game away with three more runs in the fifth inning as Alex Holzman sent a three-run homer over the left field fence.
Fairfield continues its New Jersey swing with a doubleheader at Rider University on Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for 11 am.