The softball team’s season came to a close on Thursday, May 4 at the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Tournament in Cortland, New York with back-to-back defeats to SUNY Oswego and SUNY Oneonta.
The Hawks finished their season with an 18-20 record, while going 10-8 in conference play.
Hawks head coach Samantha Miller says that while the losses were tough to swallow, it was overall a very successful year for the team.
“The seniors left their mark on New Paltz softball and we are on the rise for the future,” Miller said. “Being able to have this much success is a positive thing and the way we ended will light a fire from within.”
In the first game against Oswego, New Paltz went down early as the Lakers were able to push across a run off a push bunt to second that found a hole.
The Hawks rebounded and tallied a run in both the sixth and seventh innings with help from fourth-year outfielder Fallon Spriggs and third-year third baseman Alexa Mastando, who each chipped in RBIs to go in front.
The bottom of the seventh is where it got messy for New Paltz, as they held a 2-1 lead with only a runner on second and Oswego down to its final strike.
With third-year pitcher Lauren Cappello in the circle going for the complete-game, she induced a swinging strike which sparked a celebration on the field.
However, the ball was said to not have been secured and remained live, leading the hitter to beat the play out and have the runner at second jog home to knot things up.
The Lakers then strung together back-to-back hits to hand New Paltz a crushing 3-2 defeat.
Cappello said that after the game, the feeling among the team was upsetting with a sense of disappointment, but something they could not dwell upon.
“As a team we were disappointed in the outcome of the game and the call by the umpire, but we all took our time to calm down and reflect on the game as a learning experience for future games,” Cappello said. “For myself, I could not dwell too long on the loss because we had to go and play another game.”
In game two against Oneonta, the Red Dragons went up 4-0, registering a run in each of the first four frames before fourth-year first baseman Kiersten Carlomagno cut the lead in half with a base knock up the middle.
In the fifth inning, Oneonta answered right back to score six runs off of Cappello who pitched complete games in both games of the tournament.
New Paltz scored a run in both the fifth and sixth innings to lower the deficit to 10-4, but after the Red Dragons put up a four spot in the seventh, it proved to be the nail in the coffin as they would go on to a 14-5 victory to eliminate the Hawks from the tournament.
Miller said that after the tough defeat to Oswego in the first game, it was hard for the team to get their energy up.
“From now on, we will always go for four outs and know that it isn’t over until the final out of the final inning,” Miller said.
Miller added that it was tough for the team to get anything going due to several rain delays throughout the game that came during moments of momentum.
“When we went to start the game, the team was sent to the bus for 45 minutes because of thunder and lightning,” Miller said. “We had three delays after and the girls were exhausted, but Oneonta capitalized and put the bat on the ball in those timely situations.”