The efforts were there, but they weren't enough to hold off a talented opponent in Brookdale County Community College Thursday afternoon.
In a clash of two of the nation's top Division III programs, the No. 4 Roadrunners saw their 19-game win streak snapped when the second-ranked Jersey Blues (38-9 overall) swept a doubleheader by 4-2 and 11-7 scores. The wins enabled Brookdale to clinch the Garden State Athletic Conference title with a 9-0 league mark.
"We had some opportunities to win both games, but Brookdale was tough when it counted," RCGC coach Steve DePasquale. "We'll need to make some adjustments in our play, and we certainly will."
But the Jersey Blues slowly battled back. The big blow was a two-run home run by freshman Shakyra Moore in the third inning to tie the game at 2-2 before Alyssa Vetrano and Tara Daukshus also drove in runs in the fourth to give the visitors the lead for good.
The Runners outhit Brookdale 7=5, but could not come up with key hits against winning pitcher Jessica Pszeniczny, who now has a 21-4 overall record.
In Game 2, the Runners battled back throughout, falling behind 5-0 and later 7-4 before tying the game 7-7 with a three-run outburst in the seventh. In extra innings, the Jersey Blues rallied for 4 runs in the eighth to close out the victory.
In between games, the Runners' staff honored the team's sophomores and their families in a special infield ceremony. See photo album.
Next Up: Region XIX tournament next week.