UNION- With the NCAA tournament approaching, the Kean University softball team has been on a roll, and two of South Plainfield’s own have been at the forefront of the Cougar’s success.
The play of Shannon McMahon and Caroline Ratti have been a force for Kean (33-7) all season, and earlier this week, the two former Lady Tigers led their school to another conference championship.
McMahon, a 2013 graduate of South Plainfield High School, earned four wins and threw two shutouts as the starting pitcher for Kean during the NJAC tournament. The senior pitcher struck out ten and walked none during the tournament. Five of those strikeouts came during Kean’s 5-0 upset win over top-seeded Ramapo in the semifinals.
In the championship game against Stockton University on Sunday, McMahon conceded two runs and struck out two, which helped the third-seeded Cougars earn a 5-2 victory and the third NJAC title in the program history.
Behind the plate, Ratti, a 2015 South Plainfield graduate, has been a major contributor. The sophomore lead-off hitter is the team leader in home runs with four, and is tied for second in hits with 46.
Ratti is currently batting .365 with 41 runs, 15 RBI, and 31 stolen bases.
Both players were named All-NJAC, and McMahon recently earned her third NJAC Pitcher of the Week award. McMahon’s 22-2 record is the best among NJAC pitchers, and Ratti ranks fourth in runs in NJAC league play (18) 15th in hits (20) and second in stolen bases (13).
The Cougars will hope to keep their post-season success going as they’ll be facing off against Neumann University in the first round of the NCAA Regional tournament on Friday. The game will take place at 3:30 p.m at Cougar Softball Field.