In 2018, the Cumberland County College softball team had their fair share of "almosts". The Dukes fell short in 3 contests by 2 or less runs, games in which would have placed them in the Region XIX playoffs. Unfortunately, the Dukes would finish 2 games short of the postseason and end the campaign with an 8-19 overall record, 6-10 in region play. The Dukes have come out with a vengeance, winning their first four region games by scoring over 35 runs in those matchups. Additionally, Cumberland has surpassed their overall win total already in 2019, winning their 8th and 9th games this Saturday over Sussex County to bring their record to 9-6.
In Game 1, the Skylanders methodically built a 4-0 lead heading into the bottom of the 4th by manufacturing runs in the 1st, 2nd, and 4th innings. Cumberland would score 1 in their half of the 4th before relinquishing 2 more Skylander runs in the top of the 5th. The outlook was bleak at the beginning of the bottom of the 5th, however, the Dukes had other plans. Cumberland would send 13 hitters to the plate, with the highlight coming from sophomore Siani Gomez delivering the go-ahead RBI to give Cumberland the 7-6 lead. When the dust settled, the Dukes would score 9 runs in the 5th inning to give them the 10-6 lead, which would be the final score.
Every Dukes hitter tallied at least 1 hit and scored 1 run on the day. Megan Culley led the Dukes offensively going 4 for 4 with 2 RBIs and 2 Runs scored. Alyse Jackson continued her impressive offensive season with 3 hits and 2 RBIs. Breanna Suppi, Alexis Donnelly, Rosa Lasalandra, and Siani Gomez each had 2 hits for the Dukes. In the circle, Alexis Donnelly battled the Skylanders all game long pitching 7 innings with 5 strikeouts and scattering 9 hits.
Game 2 followed nearly an identical script as the Skylanders held a 2-1 lead heading into the bottom of the 4th. This time the Dukes would send 10 batters to the plate to score 6 runs in the inning to take a 7-2 lead. That score would hold as the Dukes completed the sweep to move to 4-0 in region play. Alyse Jackson and Alicia Serrano would lead the offense for Cumberland with each tallying 3 hits and 1 RBI with 1 run scored. Sarah Morgan would go 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored while Alexis Donnelly pitched in with 2 hits and 2 RBIs.
Megan Culley got the start in Game 2 and was masterful. The sophomore would pitch a complete game with 3 strikeouts while scattering 5 hits and giving up just 1 earned run.
Cumberland heads into its toughest stretch of 2019 as they will face 5 Region XIX 2018 postseason participants, including DIII National Tournament qualifiers Lehigh Carbon (Friday, April 5) and Brookdale CC (Thursday, April 18), in the month of April.