Following rainouts of their games against Mount Saint Mary College on April 4, the softball team took the field for the first time in a week with a doubleheader against Western Connecticut State on April 11.
For fourth-year outfielder Julia Perhacs, long stretches of inclement weather provide the team with even more time to perfect their craft.
“[Long breaks] allow our team to continue to work on anything that we’ve struggled with during game situations. In order to maintain our sharp competitive edge and game-day mindsets, we often work through live situations and have inter-squad scrimmages during practice.”
The Hawks dropped a highly contested first game.
After a scoreless first, Western Connecticut took an early 1-0 lead on an RBI single by fourth-year outfielder Erica Bower. The Hawks would answer in the bottom half with a run of their own courtesy of third-year catcher Madison Rappold. She led off the inning by ripping a double down the left field line, later scoring on a pair of wild pitches.
The game remained knotted at one a piece until the fifth.
After loading the bases, Western Connecticut second-year infielder Kayla Jessup walked before second-year outfielder Natalia Hart reached base on a fielder’s choice, taking a 4-2 lead into the bottom of the fifth.
After a quick out, second-year third base and utility Kelsey Trudden led off the home half of the fifth with a single up the middle. Second-year outfielder Nicole DePaola pinch ran for Trudden, later advancing to second on a single by second-year outfielder Julia DiSpigna and third on fielder’s choice, loading the bases.
Fourth-year outfielder Taylor Leonette followed with an RBI single, scoring DiSpigna. DePaola then scored on a throwing error, moving first-year second base and outfield Katie Conrad to third and Leonette to second. A squeeze bunt by second-year utility Meagan Blair scored Conrad from third, advancing Leonette to third who would eventually score on a wild pitch, making the score 5-3 Hawks at the end of five.
Western Connecticut added two runs in the sixth, evening the score.
The score remained 5-5 until the eighth inning. After Hart was placed on second to start the eighth, Geyson reached on a throwing error by Hawks second-year utility Taylor Pfitscher, scoring Hart.
The Hawks would go down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the eighth, giving Western Connecticut a 6-5 victory.
Leonette led the offense going 2-for-4 with an RBI while fourth-year pitcher and first baseman pitched all eight innings, allowing three earned runs while collecting seven strikeouts and walking two.
The Hawks followed their game one loss with a 2-2 tie in six innings later that afternoon.
Rappold started off the home half of the sixth with a single to left field before being replaced by pinch runner DePaola. Third-year second baseman Shannon Fee singled to center, moving DePaola to second. Back-to-back RBI singles by Blair and first-year utility Ashley Puig evened the score.
Hawks head coach Samantha Miller is proud of her team’s determination.
“One thing the team has done well is putting up a fight. We’ve had plenty of opportunities to come from behind, and it shows that these girls have heart. Every kid on this roster is prepared for when their number is called and I think that shows how strong we are as a team and how much depth we have,” Miller said.
Looking ahead, the Hawks will play four doubleheaders against Oswego State, SUNY Cortland, SUNY Geneseo and SUNY Brockport on April 13, 14, 17 and 18, respectively.