NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Sophomore Alana Evans continued her dominance in the circle for the Maroon & Gold with the program’s first no-hitter since 2010. Her ten strikeout complete game gem, insured the Gaels split a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference doubleheader against Monmouth.
GAME ONE: Monmouth 5, Iona 0
Junior Amanda Riley was on her A-game for Monmouth, showing her All-MAAC Preseason selection traits while holding Iona to four hits in seven innings of work. Seven Gaels fell by way of the strikeout while just two reaching base on free passes.
The Maroon & Gold’s two best chances to score came in the first and third innings when both senior shortstop Katie Newton and junior Tori Danner stood on second and first base with two outs. In the first inning rookie designated player Jasmine Temple flew out to left field, and in the third she lined out to right field with Hawks junior Katie Baron making a lunging catch.
Freshman pitcher Marnie Skinner dueled toe-to-toe with Riley until the bottom of the fourth inning. Senior Justene Reyes knocked out her fifth homerun of the season, giving the Hawks a 1-0 lead. Monmouth tacked on two additional runs in the fifth in sixth innings courtesy of RBI at-bats from junior Alex Holzman, junior Morgan Balderas, and Reyes.
Riley retired 12 of the last 13 batters she faced. She allowed just one hit over the final four innings. Skinner went five innings, allowed three earned runs on seven hits and two walks. In relief, Jessica Harkness went one inning, allowing two runs home, one earned.
Monmouth went 3-3 with a runner on third base and less than two out.
GAME TWO: Iona 4, Monmouth 0
In a mirror image of Friday’s game two win at Siena, the Gaels used a strong offensive start along with phenomenal pitching to earn a road conference win. This time around, Evans recorded her first collegiate no-hitter, going the distance while striking out ten. It’s the first no hitter for Iona since 2010 when the program recorded two in the same day against Saint Peter’s at then Rice Oval.
Evans retired nine of the last 10 batters she faced, the only blemish being a walk to Reyes in the sixth inning. In the final frame she induced two quick fly outs on five pitches before battling to a full count with freshman Deangie Jimenez; Evans won the battle and completed the no-hitter by getting her to softly pop out to third base.
Offensively, the middle of the order got things going in the second inning. Danner and Temple reached base to begin the frame. They advanced to second and third on a groundout by sophomore third basemen Kimberly Chiapparelli. Newton worked a full count before driving home both baserunners with a line drive single to right field.
Sophomore second basemen Hailey Thompson followed Newton with another base-knock. With two outs, Gergel insured that Iona’s middle infielders didn’t get stranded, bringing both across the plate with a single to centerfield.
Iona rattled Monmouth starter, senior Sydney Underhill; the Gaels scored their four runs in 1.2 innings, using four hits and two free passes. Riley came in relief and escaped more imminent danger in the second inning by striking out senior first basemen Kristen Turner with Morris still standing in scoring position.
Riley allowed just two Iona hits for the remainder of the game. She threw a total of 12.1 innings on the day and allowed zero earned runs.
Gergel finished game two with a team-high two hits. She and Newton had two RBI a piece.
Iona returns to action with its final non-conference game of the season on Tuesday, Apr. 18 against Stony Brook. The Gaels and Seawolves will play a single game beginning at 3:00 PM.