By Brian Savard
NEW PALTZ – The State University of New York at New Paltz softball team split a State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) doubleheader against SUNY Oswego on Sunday at Mary Gray Deane Field, winning, 4-3, in game one before dropping a 7-3 decision in eight innings in the nightcap.
New Paltz moves to 5-9 overall and 2-2 in the SUNYAC. The Hawks next visit Western Connecticut State University for a 4 p.m. doubleheader on Wednesday, April 9. Oswego moves to 4-7 overall and 1-3 in the SUNYAC. The Lakers next host Wells College on Tuesday, April 8, at 3:30 p.m. in a doubleheader in their 2014 home opener.
Game 1: New Paltz 4, Oswego 3
New Paltz withstood a late rally by Oswego to pull out a 4-3 victory in game one. Both teams put on an offensive showcase, with the Hawks totaling 11 hits and the Lakers notching 10.
The Hawks got on the board in the first, as senior first baseman Chelsea Kull singled up the middle to push across junior center fielder Shayna Burgess. With two outs in the first, sophomore catcher Jordan Fiore scored Kull with an RBI base knock to left field, giving New Paltz a 2-0 advantage.
Sophomore third baseman Nicole DeCosta continued the Hawks’ two-out success in the third, as she drove in two runs after ripping a double to right center to give the Hawks a 4-0 cushion.
Oswego got on the board in the fifth, as junior pinch hitter Alexandra McKay plated two runs off a single through the left side. In the seventh, the Lakers tacked on one more run off a defensive miscue by the Hawks, but a fly out to right field with the tying run on third base during the next at-bat gave New Paltz the 4-3 win.
Senior pitcher Amber Carozza earned the win for the Hawks, yielding three runs (two earned) off 10 hits and a walk while striking out three. Sophomore pitcher Alexis Nasca picked up the loss for Oswego in the circle, allowing four runs off 11 hits, a walk and a hit by pitch while striking out three.
Burgess, junior second baseman Meg Brewer and DeCosta all had multiple hits for the Hawks, while senior second baseman Katie Bredin and freshman right fielder Dana Taglioni notched one hit each for the Lakers.
Game 2: Oswego 7, New Paltz 3
A five-run eighth by Oswego proved to be the difference in the nightcap, as both teams put on a stellar display of pitching and defense in the first seven innings of the contest.
Oswego hopped out to a 2-0 lead in the third, as Nasca and McKay rapped out back-to-back RBI hits. New Paltz countered in the fourth, with Brewer scoring Burgess off a two-out double to left field before Fiore singled up the middle to push across Brewer.
Oswego had numerous opportunities down the stretch to score the go-ahead run, but New Paltz came up with stops every step along the way to force extra innings.
The Lakers finally cashed in on offensive opportunities in the eighth, scoring five runs off four hits to claim a 7-2 advantage. The Hawks did answer back with a run in the bottom of the inning off a Kull sacrifice fly, but the deficit proved too large to overcome.
Junior pitcher Erika Traina sustained the loss, working 7 2/3 innings while allowing six runs off 10 hits and four walks while striking out two. Oswego’s sophomore pitcher Alexandria Connelly picked up the win in relief, going four innings while yielding just one run off two hits and three walks.
Five Lakers finished with two hits, while four different Hawks tallied one.