After sweeping its doubleheader against The Sage Colleges in Troy, New York on Wednesday, April 26, the softball team finished off the regular season by splitting two games with State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) rival SUNY Oneonta on Saturday, April 29.
The Hawks are gearing up for their first SUNYAC Tournament game against SUNY Oswego on Thursday, May 4 in Cortland, New York.
Hawks head coach Samantha Miller said that the one thing the team seeks in their matchup against Oswego is revenge.
“Revenge is an important word for us,” Miller said. “The least amount of mental mistakes made will be key. The team won’t settle for a bad game against who they are playing.”
Miller also added that the game against Oswego is “the Hawks’ to lose.”
New Paltz went 0-2 against the Lakers in the regular season after a doubleheader sweep on Saturday, April 22.
On Saturday, April 29, in their final bouts of the regular season, New Paltz lost to Oneonta by a score of 5-4 in the first leg of its doubleheader, but rebounded to take the latter match by a score of 9-5.
In the first game, third-year pitcher Lauren Cappello toed the rubber for the Hawks and fired 6 1/3 innings, allowing five runs (three earned) on nine hits, while walking one as well as hitting a batter.
With the complete-game loss, Cappello fell to a then 14-11 on the season.
On the offensive side, New Paltz jumped out to an early 2-0 lead after fourth-year catcher Nicole DeCosta drove in a pair with a single to left.
Oneonta knotted the game back up in the bottom half of the first, but the Hawks jumped back in front in the third inning after third-year third baseman Alexa Mastando stole second and came around to score on a fielding error.
DeCosta drove in another run in the fourth with a single to score fourth-year outfielder Fallon Spriggs.
The Hawks took their 4-2 lead into the bottom of the seventh but couldn’t seal the victory as Cappello served up a double with the bases loaded to give Oneonta a 5-2 walk-off win.
In game two, Cappello was back at it on the mound and handed in another complete-game, tossing seven innings while allowing five runs (four earned) on 12 hits while walking one and striking out two.
Yet again, the Hawks took an early lead, going out front 2-0 with contributions from DeCosta and first-year outfielder Julia DiSpigna who each chipped in an RBI.
The Red Dragons then answered back with a four spot in the first and another in the fifth to make it a 5-2 ballgame.
In response, the Hawks scored seven unanswered runs across the sixth and seventh innings to take the lead back and end its season on a high note.
In the sixth, DeCosta drove in another run but was pinch-run for by first-year outfielder Nicole DePaola.
Fourth-year catcher Megan Carbia then came on to pinch-hit and promptly tripled to deep right center and came around to score on a throwing error.
Mastando then chipped in a run-scoring triple of her own, followed by an RBI single from third-year left fielder Taylor Leonette.
In the seventh, DiSpigna scored on a wild pitch and third-year outfielder Julia Perhacs drove in a run with a single to give the Hawks a four-run lead they wouldn’t look back from.
“Being able to fight against Oneonta after being down 5-2 in the fifth was important,” Miller said. “We had some big hits and big plays and we never gave up. Seeing everyone adapt and jump on board is going to be our key to success in the [SUNYAC] tournament.”
On Monday, May 1, it was announced that DeCosta had earned SUNYAC Player of the Week honors after going 7-for-13 (.538 batting average) with two runs, one double, one home run and nine RBIs.
The SUNYAC Tournament will now take place from Thursday, May 4 through Saturday, May 6.