NUTLEY, N.J.- Caldwell University softball head coach Dean Johnson earned his 800th career victory as the Cougars split a non-conference doubleheader with St. Thomas Aquinas College on Sunday afternoon. Caldwell came up short in the opener 2-1 but earned Coach Johnson his milestone victory with a 4-1 win in the nightcap.
The Cougars move to 4-10 on the season, while the Spartans stand at 6-8.
Coach Johnson, in his 25th season as Caldwell’s head coach, ranks 15th among active NCAA Division II coaches in victories. Johnson also ranks among the all-time victory leaders in Division II as he currently stands in 32nd place.
In the opener, the Cougars got on the board in the third as freshman Lauren Stansell (Plantation, Fla.) led off with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Freshman Nora Conway (Chicago, Ill.) doubled to left to score Stansell.
The Spartans took the lead with a pair of runs in the fifth.
Junior Sara Bearden (Ewing, N.J.) tossed a complete game, allowing two runs on six hits with five strikeouts to fall to 3-3 on the season.
Caldwell took the early with three runs in the opening inning. Conway led off with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice. Sophomore Maya Rodriguez (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) reached on an error to move Conway to third. Senior Carly Testa (Sicklerville, N.J.) doubled to put the Cougars on the board. Sophomore Anyssia Ramirez (Brentwood, Calif.) singled in Rodriguez as Testa advanced to third. Caldwell successfully converted a double steal with Testa scoring for a 3-0 lead.
The Cougars added a run in the third as Rodriguez led off with a double. Testa followed with a two-out double later in the inning to score pinch runner freshman Sara Raubertas (Berlin, N.J.).
St. Thomas Aquinas got on the board with a run in the fifth inning.
Freshman Mariah Culver (Owego, N.Y.) earned her first collegiate victory as she tossed a complete game, allowing one unearned run on five hits with eight strikeouts to improve to 1-6.
The Cougars open conference play on Monday, March 25 as they travel to Goldey-Beacom College for a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference doubleheader at 2 p.m.