After a pair of rained-out double headers to start the season, the New Paltz softball team finally made their return to the diamond Wednesday, March 13 with a pair of games at Stevens Institute of Technology. The Hawks defeated the Ducks 4-3 in game one and 8-4 in game two.
The Hawks didn’t miss a beat, immediately loading the bases in the first off walks by third-year outfielder Julia DiSpigna, fourth-year second base/outfielder Shannon Fee and a hit-by-pitch. New Paltz would go on to score two runs in the inning off a bases-loaded walk and wild pitch.
In the bottom half of the first, Stevens responded with a pair of doubles that plated one and closed the gap to 2-1.
After two bunts caught the Hawks off-guard to start the third, Stevens went on to score two in the inning on a single and a wild pitch to regain the lead at 3-2.
New Paltz immediately answered in the bottom of the fourth as a single by second-year third baseman Ashley Puig and a fielders choice allowed two to reach base and set up fourth-year shortstop Taylor LaFrance for the game-winning two-run double.
First-year pitcher Katie Quagliana shined for the Hawks, tossing 4.2 innings of scoreless ball in relief, en route to her first collegiate victory.
Later that afternoon, New Paltz was back at it against the same Ducks.
Stevens struck first in this one as second-year pitcher Emily Fox walked the first batter she faced. That runner ultimately came around to score on a single and gave the Ducks an early 1-0 lead.
Two Hawk singles in the second placed runners on first and third for third-year catcher Michaela Damore who smacked an RBI single, tying the score at one. Puig followed with a single to right that scored Damore and gave New Paltz the 2-1 lead heading into the bottom of the second.
After a Stevens two-run double put them back up 3-2 in the second, the Hawks would tie the game in the fourth off a Damore RBI single to right.
The game remained silent until the top of the seventh where New Paltz pushed five across in the inning. With bases full of Hawks, DiSpigna walked, second-year outfielder Celia Santini laced a two-run single and third-year first baseman Kelsey Trudden drove in two on a single of her own. When the top of the seventh ended, the scoreboard read 8-3, New Paltz.
Stevens was able to add a run in the home half of the seventh, however, it wouldn’t be enough as once again, Quagliana shut the door for the Hawks with 4.2 more innings of scoreless ball, earning her the victory.
The Hawks now look ahead to the PFX Spring Games where they will take on ten teams in a week span between Saturday, March 16 and Friday, March 22.