The softball team is currently on a two-game winning streak after sweeping a doubleheader against Wilkes University on the road in Wilkes Barre, P.A. on Sunday, March 23.
The Lady Hawks returned to action after a week-long break from competition. Game one resulted in a 10-1 win in five innings. Second-year pitcher Katie Rutcofsky earned the win in the circle for the Lady Hawks, allowing one run off three hits and a walk, while striking out two in three innings of work.
Game two resulted in a 10-2 victory by the Lady Hawks. The game nearly ended in a mercy rule. However, the eight-run deficit rule never fell into effect because the deficit was not reached until the seventh inning.
First-year pitcher/utility player Kiersten Carlomagno was the game two winner for New Paltz, pitching four scoreless innings while scattering three hits and striking out two.
Third-year pitcher Erika Traina picked up the save in game two tossing three innings and allowed two unearned runs off two hits and a walk while striking out one. With the save, Traina took sole possession of first all-time in career saves in the program’s record book, as she now has a total of four in three seasons at New Paltz.
Third-year Captain Shayna Burgess went 3-for-5 and was a home run shy of the cycle, tallying two runs scored, an RBI, a double and a triple in the game.
Head Coach Brittany Robinson said the doubleheader sweep was a definite morale booster.
“It was great that both us and Wilkes University had 1-7 records,” she said. “The team got to see that they’re a lot better than a 1-7 team should be. We didn’t stick around and beat them by one or two runs, we stomped them pretty good.”
Wins have been hard to come by for the team. The Lady Hawks traveled to Salisbury, M.D. to participate in the Salisbury Tournament and went undefeated in all four games Friday, March 14 to Saturday, March 15.
Despite being winless in Salisbury, fourth-year Captain Chelsea Kull, who went 4-8 with an RBI and run scored combined in both games of the doubleheader against Wilkes University, leads the team with a .485 batting average and in the hits category with 16, remained confident and said the competition was “very good.”
“All of the teams were of high caliber but it was a great learning experience playing them,” she said. “We got better as a team by competing against the best and learning from our mistakes. We never gave up and had to learn to overcome adversity.”
Kull also said as a result of playing in the Salisbury Tournament, the team has really pinpointed their weaknesses. As a result, they can now focus on these areas to try and improve to become the best team they can be.
Robinson said the team played hard in all four games and had success against a really good pitcher. She also said the team has made adjustments for their upcoming games.
Fourth-year infielder Chelsey Locatell, who went 3-3, with four RBIs, and a run-scored in game one of the Wilkes University sweep said the experience at Salisbury was a good expeirence for the team.
“Even though we came up short on some games, it definitely taught us how to be a smarter team,” she said. “We were able to pick up on the smart base-running of our opponents as well as being able to adjust to the harder pitching.”
Next on-deck are the Lady Hawks’ first SUNYAC games of the season.
“We’re really excited,” Robinson said. “We know that it’s going to be kind of a ‘who can out-hit who’ matchup against The College at Brockport. So we’re trying to improve and work on our hitting and really focus in on getting our pitching down, as well as getting our defense nice and solid.”
Kull said the team is doing drills in practice to fix the weaknesses they have to improve on for conference play.
“We are doing many drills in practice that cater to our weaknesses to turn them into our strengths, which will hopefully translate into us being successful during our conference games,” she said.
The team looks to improve on their 3-7 overall record moving forward.
As a result of poor field conditions, yesterday’s home opener against Farmingdale State College has been postponed and will now be played Tuesday, April 1 at 3 p.m.
There have been additional schedule changes made to the Lady Hawks’ schedule due to field conditions. Friday’s doubleheader against The College at Brockport beginning at 3 p.m., and Saturday’s doubleheader against SUNY Geneseo, have been postponed until further notice.