Stony Brook Softball continued to struggle this weekend at the Purple and Gold Challenge Tournament in Nashville, Tennessee, dropping all four games and worsening its record to 1-8. Only a week into a two-week trip through the south, the team faces a tough road schedule ahead after being outscored 57-23 to start the season.
The Seawolves scored one run in each of the first three games of the weekend before their bats briefly woke up in a 10-9 loss to Valparaiso University on Sunday.
The team’s bats were otherwise quiet this weekend, getting half as many hits as their opponents and striking out 32 times.
Game One: Valparaiso 4, Stony Brook 1
Game one was the closest game the Seawolves played this weekend. The lone run for Stony Brook came from a fourth inning single off the bat of sophomore outfielder Katelyn Corr, who knocked in sophomore catcher Irene Rivera. Rivera reached base on a one-out double and moved over to third thanks to freshman third baseman Riley Craig’s sacrifice fly to right field.
Freshman starting pitcher Melissa Rahrich was removed in the fifth inning after allowing a two-out RBI double to Valparaiso catcher Sam Stewart. Rahrich finished with one earned run allowed, an unearned run allowed in third after two infield error, one walk, and four strikeouts. Her replacement, junior Maddy Neales, finished the inning with a strikeout after almost immediately throwing a wild pitch.
Neales threw two more wild pitches in the bottom of the sixth, allowing one run to score. Valparaiso’s fourth and final run scored on a double-steal later in the inning. In the top of the seventh, the Seawolves had a brief two-out rally, loading the bases before Valpo righty junior Ashlyn Montgomery came in and produced a ground ball for the final out of the game.
Game Two: Eastern Illinois 10, Stony Brook 1
In the second game of the weekend, the first of a Saturday double-header, Eastern Illinois University started off in the first inning with a three-run home run by sophomore shortstop Mady Poulter. Eastern Illinois would add four more runs in the second and another three in the third, cruising to the finish with a 10-1 lead. The single run scored by the Seawolves came from a fifth inning solo home run by Rahrich, who was playing first base in this game.
Eastern Illinois’ pitching allowed only five hits and struck out Seawolves batters nine times in 21 plate appearances.
Game Three: Lipscomb 7, Stony Brook 1
A few hours later, the Seawolves faced tournament host Lipscomb University in a 7-1 loss. Again, the lone Stony Brook run came from a solo home run, this time off the bat of senior shortstop Lexie Shue in the fourth inning.
The game was tied 1-1 after the Shue home run, but only briefly. Lipscomb plated three runs in both the fifth and sixth innings. Stony Brook never threatened again, going down in order in each of the last three innings of the game.
Game Four: Valparaiso 10, Stony Brook 9
Finally, on Sunday, the Stony Brook bats woke up in a rematch with Valparaiso. However, nine runs on eight hits would not be enough to overcome Valpo’s 10 runs on 15 hits. Rahrich, pitching for the third time in as many days, allowed seven runs on seven hits in the first two innings.
Stony Brook freshman pitcher Taylor Pechin threw 4.2 innings in relief. Neales followed and loaded the bases before recording the final out of the seventh inning. In the bottom of the inning, Stony Brook loaded the bases with two outs and scored two on an error by Valpo sophomore shortstop Jaymee Lawton to make the score 10-9. The dramatics ended there. The next batter, Shue, struck out for the final out of the game.
Stony Brook heads to New Mexico with a 1-8 record to play Santa Clara University three times and New Mexico University twice next weekend. The following weekend, the Seawolves will play in a tournament at St. John’s University in Queens before finally playing their first home game on March 22 when they host the Monmouth Hawks.