by ALEXA DAWID, Staff Writer
It’s no coincidence teammates have dubbed the nickname Bri “Tank” Mata for their star pitcher.
On Apr. 21, during the softball team’s MAAC double-header against Niagara, Briana Matazinsky defended and asserted her title by throwing her first career no-hitter, and only the second in Manhattan College softball history. With her 13th shutout, Matazinsky also tied former player Jill Madea (2003-2006) for most career shutouts in MC softball history.
En route to the Jaspers’ 5-0 win, Matazinsky was perfect through the first four innings of the game. The sole Niagara base runner of the game came in the top of the fifth inning as a result of a walk, but this did not phase her as she continued to mow down batters, striking out five. She helped her team from the other side of the field by adding a three-run home run in the fourth.
Matazinsky said her approach remains constant.
“I just went about it like any other game; I wanted to get outs and let my team make plays,” Matazinsky said. “I think it was about the fifth inning that I started realizing what was happening, but I just wanted to keep getting outs and earn a team win.”
As an integral figure in the Jaspers’ first MAAC victory, Matazinsky was ecstatic she could help her team while achieving an elite career milestone.
“I was really happy after the game because I knew this was a big part of my career and something I always wanted to achieve, but I’m also just really glad we glad we got the win,” Matazinsky said.
Lauren Pitney is a junior and the team’s second baseman. In the second game against Niagara, she completed the Jaspers’ sweep by driving in the game-winning run with her RBI single in the ninth inning. She acknowledged Matazinksy’s vital part to the success of the team.
“Bri is a big leader on the team and we piggyback off her success and motivation,” Pitney said. “She plays a big role both pitching-wise and hitting-wise so she makes us want to be better.”
Matazinsky, a senior Allied Science major, currently leads the team with her .342 batting average and 2.53 ERA this season as of Apr. 25. For a time during the 2018 season, she led the MAAC league and ranked ninth in the entire NCAA Division I with her .466 batting average. She was also nominated for the 2018 NCAA Senior Class Award due to her success on the field, 50 hours of community service and team captain leadership role.
The Jaspers are looking to continue their success which was showcased against Niagara and prove themselves during the tail-end of their season.
“We’re looking to finish the season strong and have a lot of fun,” Pitney added. “We have two or three weeks left to grow as players and we want to finish the season as well as we started.”
The Jaspers will celebrate Matazinksy and other seniors Rachael Mumma and Victoria Ross during Senior Day against Quinnipiac on May 5 at Gaelic Park.