Stony Brook played Hartford in a doubleheader at Hartford Softball Field Thursday afternoon. The Seawolves won both games, improving their record to 9-18.
Game 1: Stony Brook 12, Hartford 0 (5 Innings)
Stony Brook Softball rode a hot pitching performance by freshman right-handed pitcher Melissa Rahrich in the first game of the doubleheader. She struck out three Hawks in her short day’s work and didn’t surrender a walk in the game.
The Seawolves scored eight unanswered runs, triggering the run-ahead rule, which some may refer to as a ‘mercy rule.’ In NCAA fastpitch softball, the run-ahead rule comes into play when a team has an eight-run lead after five innings. Stony Brook did just that to defeat the Hawks 12-0 in the abbreviated game.
Rahrich ensured a lopsided score by pitching a complete game shutout, giving up two hits. The right-hander’s strong outing was her fifth win of the season and brought her earned run average down to 4.97. This was her second complete game shutout in her last three starts.
Stony Brook’s second inning already had them comfortably with a 3-0 lead, but in the top of the fourth inning they scored eight runs and batted around, all with just one out. Freshman left fielder Jourdin Hering got the scoring in the inning started with a single up the middle that scored two runs on an error by the catcher on an ensuing play at the plate. Hering had two on the day, raising her batting average to .344, good for ninth in the America East.
In that rally, junior second baseman Chelsea Evans tacked on two more runs with a single back up the middle, which put the score at 9-0. The play enforced the run-ahead rule, ending the game.
Game 2: Stony Brook 9, Hartford 6
Stony Brook pulled off a come-from-behind victory in the second game of an afternoon doubleheader. Freshman third baseman Riley Craig hit a two-run single giving Stony Brook a 6-5 lead in the top of the fifth inning – a lead they would not relinquish.
Both sophomore catcher Irene Rivera and Rahrich had four hits in the game. Rivera set a personal best for hits in a single game, including a double. She is now batting .521 batting average since April 2, raising her season average by nearly .100 points. The Seawolves defeated the Hawks with a final score of 9-6.
Stony Brook trailed Hartford by two runs going into the top of the fifth inning, but their hot bats from the previous game re-ignited. Rahrich kicked things off with a double. Rivera followed suit by hitting a double of her own to drive Rahrich home, making it a one-run game.
Four batters later, with a walk sprinkled in, Craig slapped a single to center field which scored two runs, putting Stony Brook ahead 6-5.
The Seawolves gave Rahrich, who was working out of the bullpen, more room to breathe in the top of the seventh inning, tacking on two insurance runs. She helped out her own cause by driving a single to center field, allowing another run to score.
The freshman went in to pitch from playing first base in the bottom of the fifth inning with one out in a game tied at six. She finished out the game, pitching the final 2.2 innings and picking up her second win in a matter of three hours.
Up next, Stony Brook will travel further north to take on Maine in a three-game weekend series. The first game will begin Saturday at noon.