Softball Takes Three of Four to Start SUNYAC Play

Hawks third-year pitcher/first baseman Lauren Cappello earned two wins in the circle and hit a game-winning grand slam against SUNY Potsdam in a doubleheader on Tuesday, April 4. Photo courtesy of sports information.

After beginning the season 2-10, the softball team has won three of its last four games, including a win against State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) rival SUNY Plattsburgh on Monday, April 3 and a doubleheader sweep versus SUNY Potsdam on Tuesday, April 4 in Chester, New York.

After dropping the first leg of the doubleheader against Plattsburgh, the Hawks rebounded to capture a 2-0 shutout victory in the second game.

The Hawks tallied the entirety of the scoring in the first inning after second-year shortstop Taylor LaFrance stole third and scored on a defensive miscue. Fourth-year outfielder Fallon Spriggs then drove in fourth-year first baseman Lauren Cappello on a bunt single.

Fourth-year pitcher Kiersten Carlomagno pitched the entire second game against Plattsburgh, firing seven shutout innings while giving up two hits.

Hawks interim head coach Samantha Miller says that success isn’t a reflection of a team’s record and that they have bounced back nicely after facing some challenging teams in Florida to begin the campaign.

“We are a completely different team than last year and we’ve only lost two players so that says a lot,” Miller said. “Everyone has a role on this team and we can’t take any games lightly. Regardless of who we sweep or who sweeps us, the next day is when you put in more hard work.”

After the doubleheader against Plattsburgh, the Hawks went on to take both games against Potsdam by scores of 9-1 and 13-4, respectively.

Game one saw New Paltz jump out to an 8-0 lead in the second inning to give the Hawks a lead they wouldn’t look back from.

Cappello tossed the shortened five innings, striking out seven batters and allowing just one run.

Third-year outfielder Taylor Leonette went 1-for-4 out of the leadoff spot driving in a run, while LaFrance went 2-for-2 and chipped in an RBI of her own.

Second-year second baseman Shannon Fee and first-year first baseman Kelsey Trudden also each drove in two runs in the win.

In game two, New Paltz exploded for 13 runs in their victory. Potsdam jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, but New Paltz scored 13 unanswered runs in the fourth and fifth innings.

Leonette went 2-for-4 driving in a run, while LaFrance, Cappello and Spriggs combined to drive in seven runs out of the top of the lineup.

Carlomagno let up the four runs, but Cappello finished the game off stymying Potsdam the rest of the way.

Leonette says that the team has a lot of depth, attributing it to the team being able to fire on all cylinders.

“Everyone has an important role whether it’s pitching four games in a day, pinch-hitting in clutch situations or pinch-running when we need some speed on the bases,” Leonette said. “We try to bring our best self to every practice and game and leave it all on the field.”

The Hawks will next travel to Buffalo to take on Buffalo State for a doubleheader on Sunday, April 9 with games at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

“I think our mentality going into this weekend, being that they are conference games, is to really focus on winning each inning,” Leonette said. “When we’re in the field we are solely concerned with getting three outs and when we’re hitting we’re focusing on getting the bat on the ball and getting base runners on. We hope to come out strong and play our best softball this weekend.”