Softball Brings The Heat

Photo by Holly Lipka.

The softball team currently has a record of 7-7 after going 4-2 over spring break.

First the Hawks competed in the Fastpitch Dreams Spring Classic down in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina from Friday, March 18 to Saturday, March 19 and went 2-2 in their four nonconference matchups.

Hawks third-year infielder Nicole DeCosta said that as a whole, there are always areas to improve on, but the team ended their weekend on a really positive note.

“There were a lot of good things that happened this weekend but there are still some things we need to work on,” she said. “I think we’ll really take advantage of this time we have before the conference games to tackle those things a perfect them.”

New Paltz played three games that Friday, the first being a 17-2 victory over Bay Path University in four innings. This is the most runs the Hawks have scored in a game since last year’s Fastpitch Dreams Spring Classic, when they defeated York (N.Y.) College 24-0.

The Hawks scored 17 runs off of 17 hits and eight errors by the Wildcats. Hawks fourth-year pitcher Katie Rutcofsky pitched two perfect innings and struck out two, earning the victory. Second-year pitcher Lauren Cappello also pitched in the circle, striking out four and surrendering two runs in two innings of work.

Rutcofsky also contributed offensively going 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs. DeCosta and Hawks second-year outfielder Julia Perhacs each went 2-for-4 with three RBIs. Third-year outfielder Fallon Spriggs went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a stolen base, while second-year outfielder Danielle Bruno and second-year third baseman Alexa Mastando each went 2-for-3 for New Paltz.

Later that day, New Paltz fell 8-0 to Albright College in five innings. Hawks third-year pitcher Taylor Corwin sustained the loss, surrendering six runs, five earned, in two innings while striking out none. Rutcofsky came in for relief and would give up two runs in two innings while striking out two.

Perhacs went 2-for-3 while first-year second baseman Shannon Fee doubled and third-year utility player Megan Carbia got a pinch-hit to account for the Hawks’ four hits in the game.

New Paltz concluded the day with a 9-1 victory over the University of Wisconsin-Stout in five innings. Rutcofsky earned her second win of the day by giving up just one run and striking out two in five innings of work.

New Paltz scored four runs in the third inning and four runs in the fifth inning to lead them to victory. Spriggs led the offensive going 3-for-4 with two triples and three RBIs. Perhacs also went 3-for-4 with two runs scored, a double and an RBI. Rutcofsky again contributed in the circle and at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a run scored.

The following day, the Hawks concluded their trip to North Myrtle Beach with a 3-2 loss against Wisconsin-Stout. A two-run home run by first-year utility player Alicia Meyer led the Blue Devils to victory, while fourth-year pitcher Tori Workman shut down the Hawk offense by surrendering two unearned runs in seven innings and striking out six.

Corwin took the loss, giving up three runs, two earned, in five and one-third innings of working while striking out one. Perhacs, Spriggs and Mastando accounted for New Paltz’s three hits on the day, with Perhacs also stealing a base.

New Paltz then traveled to Winston-Salem, North Carolina the next day to play a doubleheader against Salem College. The Hawks won both games.

The first game remained tied at two through seven innings. Hawks fourth-year catcher Jordan Fiore started the eighth inning at second base thanks to the international tiebreaker rule. A groundout advanced Fiore to third and then Spriggs singled to drive in the go-ahead run.

Perhacs would later drive in two with a single to make it a 5-2 game. The Spirits would respond with two runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning to make it a 5-4 game. With runners at first and second and two outs, Rutcofsky induced a pop-up to Mastando to secure the win for the Hawks.

Rutcofsky pitched all eight innings and gave up four runs, three earned, while striking out four. Bruno got New Paltz on the board with a home run in the fifth inning, her first of the season. First-year shortstop Taylor LaFrance also contributed offensively, going 3-for-4 with a run scored.

The Hawks won the second game by a score of 7-2 to conclude their trip down south. The game remained tied 1-1 until New Paltz scored five runs in the fifth inning to push them to victory.

Cappello broke the tie by driving in Fee with an RBI single. Later in the inning, a bases-clearing triple by LaFrance would drive in three. La France would then score on a wild pitch to give the Hawks a 6-1 lead.

Spriggs went 2-for-3 in the game and accounted for New Paltz’s other two runs with two solo home runs, her second career multi-homer game as a Hawk. Corwin earned the win in the circle by pitching seven innings and surrendering just two runs and striking out one.

Fiore said sweeping Salem College was great for the team.

“We played them last year when we played at UNC Chapel Hill and we were not pleased with how we played,” she said. “[Salem College] is considered a powerhouse in their conference and to take two games from them was awesome for us. We did all of the little things right and our hitting was definitely there.”

On Monday, March 21, it was announced that Spriggs was named the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Softball Player of the Week for the period ending March 20. She batted .550 and posted a 1.100 slugging-percentage during the Hawks’ trip down south.

The following week, New Paltz split a doubleheader against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on March 29. Game one resulted in a 3-0 Hawks shutout. Rutcofsky scattered six hits and struck out six in seven innings to earn the win. In the nightcap, the Engineers took the 8-2 win in six innings.

The next day, the Hawks earned another split doubleheader, this time against The Sage Colleges. The Gators took game one 5-3. In the second game, the Hawks recorded another shutout, 5-0 in six innings.

In the shutout, Rutcofsky tossed a complete-game shutout, scattering five hits while striking out a career-high-tying 10 batters.

New Paltz will next play a doubleheader against Union (N.Y.) College on Friday, April 1 before finishing up their homestand as they start SUNYAC play against SUNY Oneonta on Saturday, April 2.

Hawks head coach Brittany Robinson is looking for her team to use some unconventional methods in order to be successful in their conference.

“[We’re looking to] do something that’s a little bit different,” Robinson said. “I think that we have talent and that we have put the work in to do what’s necessary for us to be successful within the conference. But I think what’s going to separate us from everybody else is just being confident enough to make that outstanding play.”