With two outs, the bases loaded and the game on her bat, sophomore starting pitcher Taylor Pechin walked up to the plate. Stony Brook Softball was trailing St. John’s University 4-1 in the bottom of the seventh inning and needed another big play from Pechin to keep the outing alive. Down to her final strike, Pechin hit a grounder to the middle.
Unfortunately for the Seawolves, Red Storm freshman shortstop Amelia Ditolvo scooped up the ball and threw to first to thwart the Seawolves’ hopes of a comeback and secure her team’s victory.
“I definitely think we have this energy in the seventh inning where we try to come back but I think we need to have that in the beginning,” Pechin said. “We definitely need to push through with the bases loaded. I was up to bat and I wasn’t successful.”
Though Pechin’s failure to convert in the dying moments finished off Tuesday’s game, the loss was a culmination of numerous missteps throughout the afternoon. The Seawolves were charged with two errors and left 10 runners stranded on base.
“It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t our best,” head coach Megan T. Bryant said. “We were coming off a pretty successful weekend. I thought we could have competed a little harder in spots and certainly had our opportunities offensively.”
The one opportunity that Stony Brook cashed in on came in the bottom of the fourth inning. Pechin fired a solo shot over the right-field wall to lead off the side and draw the Seawolves, who were already trailing 3-0, within two. Junior outfielder Katelyn Corr followed the homer with a double, but St. John’s junior starting pitcher Madison Morris made it out of the inning with only Pechin’s homer on the board.
Both Morris and Pechin held their own in the next two innings, but the offense got going again in the seventh. Red Storm senior left fielder Lauren Zick made it home on junior right fielder Christina Melendez’s sacrifice fly to center field, but an impressive double play by Corr limited the Red Storm to one run in the inning.
Stony Brook attempted a comeback in the bottom of the inning, putting junior catcher Irene Rivera, sophomore first baseman Melissa Rahrich and senior right fielder Ileana Torres on base, but Pechin could not repeat her fourth inning success.
“We go out fighting as much as we can,” Pechin said. “I think that’s what keeps us going and I think if we keep that, it will end up helping us in the long run.”
Stony Brook has been hot and cold at the plate over their past few games. Despite their 3-4 record in the last seven games, the Seawolves have averaged seven runs in this stretch, three higher than their season average of four. Shoring up their offensive production will be key to finishing the season strong.
“You want to build consistency,” Bryant said. “Getting games under our belt and just getting consistent in all three parts of the game. We can see improvements, we just need to start putting some runs together.”
Stony Brook had a short turn-around, heading to New Rochelle for an afternoon matchup against Iona College on Wednesday. The team relied on a strong offensive performance to take down Iona 6-0 Wednesday afternoon.