The softball team has had production circling throughout their lineup, however missed opportunities and bad timing led to two losses of 7-5 and 4-1 at the hands of no. 19 SUNY-Cortland yesterday.
Sophomore pitcher Sam Bender pitched a total of twelve innings in the doubleheader, including five innings in the first game and all seven innings in the second game. Bender struck out seven batters between the two games, giving up only three earned runs and five unearned runs. Despite the no-decision and loss for Bender, she said the coaches were pleased with her performances on the circle.
“They told me that if I stay the course then the team will follow, and we’ll be alright,” Bender said.
In the early game, the Blue and Gold got on the board first by capitalizing on two Cortland fielding errors. Sophomore outfielder Julianne Vincent reached on an error and later scored on another throwing error after freshman infielder Francesca Busa’s single to left field. Sophomore outfielder Rachael Dell’Orto’s single in the second put the Bombers ahead by two.
The Bombers added two additional runs and led 4-2 lead until the sixth inning when Cortland scored three runs to take its first lead of the game. The Red Dragons tied the game after an RBI single by junior third baseman Kayla Lynch and junior infielder Lucia Meola. Senior outfielder Lorraine Stoddard gave Cortland the lead after another single into right field.
With the Bombers trailing by one in the final inning, Busa ignited the offense in the bottom of the seventh with a double to left-center field. Sophomore infielder Sydney Folk moved Busa to third after a sacrifice fly, which was the second out for the Bombers. Then, freshmen catcher Monica Capolongo got her third and most important hit of the day with an RBI single into left field that tied the game at five runs apiece.
Sophomore pitcher Julian Olmestead, who replaced Bender in the sixth inning, allowed a 2-RBI double in the extra frame that gave the Red Dragons enough breathing room to hold off the Bombers.
In the second game of the day, Cortland struck first on sophomore outfielder Meghan Kohler’s RBI single. This would be Bender’s only earned run of the game, as the Bombers surrendered three unearned runs to the Red Dragons in the late contest.
Neither team scored again until the fourth when Vincent hit a solo home run to left field to tie the game at one run a piece. This would be the only blemish for Cortland senior pitcher Abby Martin, who improved to 6-1 this season by giving up two hits and striking out five in five innings pitched.
Cortland senior Jessica Harman led off the top of the fifth with a double, and her teammate Lynch followed with a single to left that snuck by junior centerfielder Adrienne Walters scoring Harman and leaving Lynch on third. She later scored on a sacrifice fly to left field.
Cortland added another run in the sixth inning to secure the victory.
With the sweep, the Red Dragons moved to 18—4 on the season. Despite being ranked 19th in the country, Cortland Head Coach Julie Lenhart said it is always difficult facing the South Hill squad on the road no matter what the situation is.
“Records mean nothing when you come over here,” Lenhart said. “Luckily for us, everything fell into place today.”
The Bombers dropped to 7—10 and are now in the midst of a five-game losing streak. They will try to change their luck around at 2:30 p.m. Friday against Utica College on Kostrinsky Field.
Head Coach Deb Pallozzi said her team is looking for one spark to turn the tide.
“We just need to win one big game, and I think that will help turn our luck around,” she said.