BROOKVILLE, N.Y. — The NYIT softball team placed itself in a prime position in the ECC standings with a doubleheader sweep at LIU Post on Tuesday, winning 3-0 and 3-2.
Reigning ECC Pitcher of the Week Laura McLaughlin ran her streak without allowing an earned run to 33 innings while appearing in both games. Her season ERA now sits at 1.54 in exactly 100 innings.
The Bears improved to 17-13 overall and 9-7 in the ECC, good for third place in the league.
"It's a great feeling to get this sweep from our biggest rival," McLaughlin said. "It was a great team win with efforts from everyone. This puts us in a good place for our ranking. Now we have to keep doing the same thing and roll through the rest of conference play."
McLaughlin tossed a three-hit shutout in Game 1, and the Bears bounced on Pioneers starter Hannah Olshevski with a two-run first inning that included an RBI double from Josephine Santagata and an RBI single from Madison Smith.
In Game 2, Kaitlyn Lanksbury produced a tiebreaking two-run homer in the sixth and the Bears held on. McLaughlin handled the final 3 1/3 innings in relief of Ashley Russo and worked around an unearned run in the bottom of the seventh to secure the win.
With a 3-1 lead in the nightcap, the Pioneers loaded the bases with none out on a pair of singles and a throwing error by shortstop Tiffany McCracken. McLaughlin rallied by striking out pinch hitter Melissa Peet. Julia Seader followed with a sacrifice fly — an uneared run that pulled LIU Post (21-17, 7-7) within a run. But with the tying and winning runs on base, McLaughlin coaxed a game-ending fielder's choice.
"My coach and teammates have high expectations of me," McLaughlin said. "So I know when I go out there, I need to hit my spots and pitch with high intensity. I've been feeling confident about my pitching, and I hope to continue playing like this."
Said coach Steve Christianson: "I just feel like offensively we're starting to see the ball better. We're starting to hit the ball the way we're capable of doing. We're stringing the hits along. It's not just a couple of people putting the bat on the ball. It's all of them. That's a great feeling going into these last couple of weeks of the season. And the way the pitching is rolling right now, it's a great combination to have."