Stony Brook softball dropped both ends of a home doubleheader to Rutgers on Wednesday afternoon, losing 7-5 and 1-0 at University Field.
The losses mark the Seawolves’ first in nearly a month, as Stony Brook came into the day riding a six-game win streak.
“Rutgers is the toughest opponent we’ve had in a while,” Stony Brook coach Megan Bryant said.
For the first game, Stony Brook sent senior Allison Cukrov to the mound, while Rutgers started junior Dresden Maddox.
The first game began with Rutgers and Stony Brook exchanging solo home runs in the first. Scarlet Knights outfielder Jackie Bates hit one well over the outfield wall before outfielder Bria Green tied the game for the Seawolves.
“The long ball was good to us in the first game,” Bryant said.
After letting up the home run to Rutgers, Cukrov retired the next eight batters she faced until Bates took her deep again in the top of the fourth inning to put Rutgers back on top 2-1.
“[Bates] is a good hitter, she put a good swing on the ball,” Cukrov said. “It wasn’t my best pitch.”
After a home run tied the game for Stony Brook in the fourth, the Seawolves took the lead in the fifth when Green hit a sacrifice fly.
“I was just trying to help my team,” Green said.
The sacrifice fly gave Cukrov a 3-2 lead going into the sixth inning. However, an RBI double by Jordan Whitley tied the game for Rutgers. Scarlet Knights catcher Liz Adams would later drive home two more runs with a bases-clearing double that put them ahead 5-3.
“I’m not sure you have a reaction to [losing the lead],” Bryant said. “Sometimes games go back and forth.”
Rutgers tacked on two insurance runs in the seventh when Whitley hit a two-run home run off game two-starter Jane Sallen. Stony Brook responded in the bottom of the inning with a Green two run homer, but this proved to be too little too late. Rutgers took the first game by the score of 7-5.
The second game was a pitcher’s duel. Sallen took the mound for Stony Brook to take on Rutgers’ Shayla Sweeney. Both pitchers carried shutouts for the first five innings, as Sallen and Sweeney engaged in a pitcher’s duel.
“The second game was totally different from the first,” Bryant said. “It was really a pitcher’s battle.”
Sallen was able to keep the Seawolves in the game until Rutgers outfielder Carly Todd hit a double with a runner on base to put two Scarlet Knights in scoring position. First baseman Bridget Carr proceeded to drive in the runner from third when she hit into a fielder’s choice, chasing Sallen from the mound.
The Scarlet Knights would not need any more offense, as Sweeney kept the Seawolves off the board the rest of the way. She completed the shutout, allowing just three hits and striking out eight.
“We need to do a better job at our situational hitting,” Bryant said. “You can live and die by that.”
With this non-conference doubleheader now behind them, the Seawolves will look to get back to their winning ways as they host America East rival Binghamton this weekend.
“[The team] is all chomping at the bit to play conference,” Cukrov said.
Stony Brook is just 1-5 against teams from the “Power Six” conferences (ACC, Big East, Big 10, Big 12, SEC, Pac-12) this season. The lone win came against Purdue in February.