The SUNY New Paltz women’s softball team opened up their regular season this past weekend against the Rowan University Profs.
The Lady Hawks started off the first inning, but didn’t manage to score any runs during their first appearances.
In the bottom of the first, the Profs were up at the plate. Third-year Sonia Sharma started it off with a bunt, putting her on first. Third-year Kelly Duffy was up next with a single down the left field line, pushing Sharma over to second. Second-year Morgan Zane took the scoring into her own hands, earning an RBI off of a center field single, sending Sharma home and Duffy to second. Although ending up out at second off of a fielder’s choice from second-year Korie Hague, Duffy still was on third.
With first and third occupied, the Hawks were in a bind to see which strategy the Profs would go for. Hague went to steal second, as many would do in a first and third position, in order to force a throw from the catcher across the diamond. An error on the Hawks’ second baseman allowed Duffy to advance home and Hague to keep second. Second-year Cali Kraemer struck out looking to end the inning, with the Profs in the lead 2-0.
With three strikeouts in a row for the top of the third, the Hawks were falling behind Rowan’s dominance. A double from Sharma earned the Profs two more runs with two RBI, sending fourth-year Jessie DeDomenico and second-year Alexa Saccomanno sliding across the plate. Sharma added one more to the book off of a RBI single from Duffy. The score now stood 5-0.
With second-year Katie Quagliana earning a two-out first hit of the game for the Hawks, New Paltz was fighting to catch up to Rowan. An unearned run was scored by Zane after an error from New Paltz’s third baseman, leaving the Hawks down 6-0 going into the fourth.
In a seemingly uneventful fourth inning, both sides of the field didn’t pass over home plate, with zero hits for New Paltz and one for Rowan, but two Profs were left on base.
With bases loaded and two outs, fourth-year Julia DiSpigna struck out looking, ending the chance to score for the Hawks that inning. After a sack fly from fourth-year Mackenzie Short, the Rowans tallied another run, upping their lead 7-0.
After five innings of play in NCAA softball, if one team is up by eight runs, the game is over. Sadly, this was the case for the Hawks. Although up first in the inning, the Hawks failed to add one to the board, meaning their defense was their last tactic to hold on for one more at bat. A sack fly to left field from Zane put DeDomenico across the plate, finishing the game with the Rowans on top, 8-0.
The next day against the Profs showed immense intensity from the Hawks, who ended the game in five innings tied 2-2. Third-year Nina Simms landed on base due to an error from Rowan’s third baseman. After an RBI from third-year Ashley Puig slamming a double, Simms crossed the plate, putting New Paltz on the board.
Zane offered a sack fly to right field to send DeDomenico home, tying the score 1-1. Then, Hague singled to right field for an RBI off of Duffy. New Paltz was ready in the top of the second, but couldn’t capitalize on the two errors from the Profs, leaving three on base. New Paltz answered in the bottom of the second with a 1-2-3 inning, looking to find their defensive groove.
With no scorers in the third inning for either team, the Hawks had another chance during the fourth to tie it up. An error from Rowan’s shortstop put first-year Madison Maggs on base, who later scored after another error from the Profs, allowing DiSpigna to land on rubber, tying the game 2-2. The score remained in a tie for the rest of the game.
New Paltz returned to New Jersey the next day to take on the Rutger-Camden Raptors, where they left in a split double header.
For the first four innings of the game, both teams had difficulty connecting and maximizing their efforts to score. The Raptors were the first to score, with first-year Jayden Hunter advancing home after an unearned move to second on a wild pitch, and a sacrifice putting her on third.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Raptors returned with another run from third-year Nina Arroyo who was on base from a center field single. The Hawks did not score for the remainder of the game, giving them a 2-0 loss to start the double header.
New Paltz showed their strife in game two, starting off the scoring in the top of the second with a run off of DiSpigna’s RBI to right field, sending LaFrance home. Rutger returned the scoring in the bottom of the third, with first-year Cate Petrucelli crossing the plate, unearned.
The top of the sixth was a moment of clarity for the Lady Hawks, where they tallied five runs off of only two hits for the inning. Third-year Celia Santini started off the rally with a walk, and fourth-year Michaela Damore followed suit with another. LaFrance came next, earning first base off of a bunt, advancing first-year Jessica Graepel (pinch runner for Santini) to third and Damore to second. Second-year Julia Mastrup walked, pushing Graepel over the plate, and Damore to third while maintaining bases loaded.
Two outs later, Quagliana walked, earned an RBI by pushing Damore home, LaFrance to third and Mastrup to second. A double from second-year Carol Ann Campsey put the Hawks on top, where Campsey earned three RBIs – Quagliana, Mastrup and LaFrance all scored for the Hawks, putting them up 6-1 for the win.
The Hawks were supposed to play on March 14 for the 10-game PFX Spring Games held in Clermont, Florida, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the trip has been canceled.