Stony Brook softball split a pair of non-conference games held on Tuesday and Wednesday, beating Sacred Heart 12-6 on the road in nine innings before losing at home to St. John’s, 9-2.
“The days were definitely different,” SBU Head Coach Megan Bryant said.
Senior Allison Cukrov took the mound on Tuesday for Stony Brook, allowing three runs in four innings of work. Without much offensive support at that point, Stony Brook trailed 3-0.
However, the Seawolves would not go down without a fight. After Stony Brook tied the game in the sixth, the game went into extra innings. In the eighth, Seawolves infielder Patty Borges drove in a run and later stole home to give Stony Brook a 5-3 lead.
Sacred Heart scored two in the bottom of the inning to keep the game alive, but Stony Brook began a decisive hit parade in the top of the ninth. Senior Shayla Giossia drove in what became the game-winning RBI on a double to give Stony Brook a lead they would never lose. Six additional runs would put the game on ice for the Seawolves.
“We were a little bit more disciplined at the plate [in the ninth],” Bryant said. “We didn’t figure that out until later in the game, but fortunately we did.”
The following afternoon ended much differently for the Seawolves. Poor pitching and costly errors contributed to Stony Brook’s eventual demise.
Cukrov took the hill once again as the team struggled immediately out of the gate. After allowing a leadoff single, a routine dropped-popup by shortstop Chelsea Evans put runners on first and second. Following a St. John’s walk, Red Storm infielder Erin Burner ripped a double into the outfield to give St. John’s a 2-0 lead.
Following the hit, St. John’s still had runners on second and third with no one out. Red Storm outfielder Brittany Garcia hit a routine ground ball to third, which Stony Brook mishandled. This cost the Seawolves a run and put St. John’s ahead 3-0.
“Today we should have played better on defense,” Bryant said. “Some days you have good defensive days, some days you don’t and today wasn’t good for us.”
After a scoreless inning by Cukrov, Giossa led off the second with a solo home run to cut the St. John’s lead to two.
Despite cutting the deficit, the Seawolves were unable to carry any momentum into the third inning. Cukrov’s day was ended after two St. John’s home runs put the Red Storm ahead 6-1. This proved to be a decisive blow for Stony Brook, as St. John’s won their eighth-consecutive game.
“St. John’s is a good team with tough pitching,” Bryant said.
The Seawolves do not play again until Saturday, when they begin a decisive three game series against America East rival Hartford.