After a brief pit stop in New Jersey, the softball team found their stride this week in the familiar confines of Mary Gray Deane Field, where they opened up their SUNYAC schedule 3-1.
Putting the Florida trip in the rearview mirror, Hawks head coach Samantha Miller believes that the “struggles in Florida have only fueled us. We talk about each mental mistake and learn from them to continue to elevate our defensive and offensive training.”
The Hawks opened their weekend of conference play with a doubleheader against SUNY Fredonia.
The Hawks took game one against Fredonia, with a second inning single by Fredonia first-year infielder Amber Piniewski being the only run allowed by fourth-year pitcher and first basemen Lauren Cappello in another masterful performance.
In the fourth, the Hawks took control. After a walk to Cappello and single by second-year pitcher and utility Alyssa Pfitscher, second-year utility Taylor Fischer singled up the middle. An errant throw by Fredonia fourth-year outfielder Lauren Pixley allowed the runners to move up a base, resulting in Cappello scoring from second on the error.
With runners on second and third and one out, a sac-fly by second-year outfielder and utility Julia DiSpigna followed by a double by first-year second basemen and outfielder Katie Conrad put the Hawks up 3-1 heading into the fifth.
After two quick outs, the Hawks added another run in the fifth. Third-year catcher Madison Rappold singled through the left side, advancing to second on another Fredonia error. First-year utility Nina Simms came in to pinch-run for Rappold. She would advance to third on a passed ball and eventually score on a wild pitch.
In the sixth, the Hawks closed the game out with two more insurance runs, giving them a 6-1 victory in game one.
Game two saw an offensive explosion from the Hawks. The Hawks scored nine runs, led by Cappello who went 3-for-3 with a two-RBI double. The biggest hit of the game, however, was delivered by first-year pitcher and second basemen Emily Fox whose game tying, two-RBI double sparked a big fifth inning rally. The Hawks would go on to win by a final of 9-5.
Miller is proud of her teams focus and ability to grind out games.
“There have been a few times where we have struggled with our bats, but we seem to resort to ‘anyway I can get on, which has worked. Our focus has been on point, everyone wants to be here and the energy is thriving,” Miller said.
After dropping game one against Buffalo State 0-2, the Hawks closed out a solid week with a 4-1 victory in game two against the Bengals.
The Hawks continued to take advantage of their opponents mistakes as three first inning errors by Buffalo State allowed the Hawks to jump out to an early 4-0 lead highlighted by a two-run homer to left from fourth-year outfielder Julia Perhacs.
Pfitscher provided the Hawks with yet another terrific outing. She threw a complete game, allowing just one run on three hits.
The Hawks first opened their week with a doubleheader on March 28 at Ramapo College in Mahwah, New Jersey.
A two-out rally in the fifth provided the Hawks with more than enough support for Cappello. After singles by Perhacs and Cappello, Rappold came up with an RBI single, putting the Hawks up by the eventual final score of 3-1.
Cappello earned her fourth win, pitching a complete game allowing just the one run on six hits.
In game two of the doubleheader, Ramapo fourth-year pitcher Katrina Buczkowski blanked the Hawks. Buczkowski pitched a complete game, allowing just four hits with seven strikeouts and no walks.
Cappello is proud of the way the team has bounced back.
“We finally came together as a team and were supportive…[we also] picked each other up when something bad happened or a call didn’t go our way,” Cappello said.
The Hawks will look to continue their winning ways this week as they prepare to face off against SUNY Brockport on April 6 and SUNY Geneseo on April 7.