Stony Brook played UMass Lowell in a three-game series over the weekend. The Seawolves dropped the series two games to one as the team’s conference record fell to 6-7. Along with the series lost, the team also lost a non-conference matchup against the Monmouth Hawks on Monday afternoon.
Game 1: Stony Brook 8, UMass Lowell 2
With a light rain falling down on University Field, Stony Brook Softball mashed five home runs in the first half of Saturday’s doubleheader. Freshman starting pitcher Melissa Rahrich and sophomore catcher Irene Rivera each hit two home runs in the offensive outburst.
The Seawolves jumped out to a three run lead in the top of the first inning and Rahrich gave her team a two-run cushion before she took the mound in the bottom of the first – as Stony Brook’s starting pitcher – by hitting a two-run home run to center field. Rivera responded by hitting a home run of her own during the next at-bat. The Seawolves lineup carried them to a 8-2 series-opening victory over the River Hawks.
“I thought we had a really good offensive approach, so if the ball goes out, it goes out,” head coach Megan T. Bryant said.
With those two home runs, Rahrich is now tied for third in the America East with eight home runs. Rivera is close behind her teammate with seven. Freshman third baseman Riley Craig displayed her power as well, hitting her second home run of the season in the bottom of the third inning.
Rahrich went the distance on the mound, pitching a complete game. Her lone blemish was a two-run second inning to couple six hits and two walks en route to her seventh win of the season. And while she has displayed her power all season long, she has never hit two home runs in one game. She chose a great day to do it, as her family came all the way from Colorado and proudly waved the state flag during her at-bats.
Game 2: UMass Lowell 10, Stony Brook 4
The light rain that fell during game one was replaced by a continuous downpour for the first several innings of the second game of the doubleheader. As the rain fell down upon the Seawolves, so did the River Hawks lineup, scoring 10 runs in the game. UMass Lowell defeated Stony Brook 10-4.
Junior starting pitcher Lindsey Hughes’ afternoon was brief as she never settled in, walking four batters in just one inning of work. The team called on freshman pitcher Taylor Pechin and junior pitcher Maddy Neales at separate points in the game, but neither was able to silence the River Hawks.
“In Game 2, I think we just gave them too much, 14 free bases is too much,” Bryant said. “If you’re gonna do that, you’ve really gotta put some numbers on the board.”
Down 2-0 after the first inning, Hughes was pulled in favor of left-hander Pechin. She surrendered three runs on five hits and two walks in 1.2 innings. The River Hawks scored five runs with Neales on the mound.
Seven different players on UMass Lowell’s offense drove in runs in the win. However, freshman shortstop Courtney Cashman led the team with three RBI, three walks and three runs scored. She belted a two-run in the fifth inning to give her team an 8-4 lead.
Stony Brook was forced to play catch-up with UMass Lowell as its senior right-handed pitcher Lauren Ramirez threw a complete game and only surrendered one earned run in her seven innings of work. Ramirez struck out six batters while relying on a changeup as her out pitch.
Game 3: UMass Lowell 3, Stony Brook 1
Ramirez started on the mound for the second consecutive game. She stifled Stony Brook hitters once again, allowing just one run while striking out three batters in the complete game win. UMass Lowell defeated Stony Brook, 3-1, to solidify the series win over the Seawolves.
“We just weren’t making the adjustments, we weren’t getting over the ball,” assistant coach Jamie Kertes said. “She was just mixing it up and keeping us off balance and not making the adjustment on the high pitch, so we kept popping up.”
Rahrich was Stony Brook’s starting pitcher for the second time in the series, and she gave it her all. She allowed one earned and two unearned runs, while striking out two batters in seven innings.
She had to be “mentally prepared to throw differently than she did the day before,” Kertes said. “Pitching against the same team twice in one weekend allows the team to pick up on habits of a pitcher, so the coaching staff tried to change her approach to hitters.”
Senior shortstop Tori Alcorn and shortstop Alisha Welch each drove in a run in the second inning to give the River Hawks a 2-0 lead. Cashman also added an RBI in the seventh inning to bring the game to its final score.
Stony Brook was burned on a two-out error by senior shortstop Lexie Shue, which would lead to two runs scoring in the top of the second inning. In the bottom of the second inning, Stony Brook senior centerfielder Sami Duffy drove in the team’s lone run of the afternoon.
Monday Afternoon: Monmouth 6, Stony Brook 1
The Stony Brook softball team struggled to find home plate , falling to the Monmouth Hawks 6-1 Monday afternoon at University Field.
Junior pitcher Amanda Riley threw a complete game for the Hawks, allowing one run and recording five strikeouts, bringing her season total to 179.
“We helped her out a little bit,” Bryant said. “She didn’t throw a bad game. But, for the most of the game, except for certain spots, we were really flat. I was disappointed in our effort offensively and defensively during the entire game.”
The fourth inning deemed to be most pivotal as Neales came in to replace Hughes. Monmouth produced four runs on 17 pitches thrown by Neales, extending the lead to 5-0.
Neales allowed back-to-back runs, walking two players with the bases loaded, bringing the score to 3-0. Monmouth’s freshman first baseman Kayla Rosado hit a single into center field right after the walks, which recorded two RBI.
“It was the free bases, we walked way too many,” Bryant said. “We had some untimely errors, and it was the free bases and the hit that cost us in that inning.”
Duffy put the only run on the board for the Seawolves in the fifth inning. Rahrich recorded a sacrifice fly to bring Duffy home and put the Seawolves on the board.
Seawolves sophomore outfielder Katelyn Corr recorded three of the five hits produced against Riley. The three base hits the sophomore provided her team with brings her season average to .311, which is ranked third best on the team behind Rahrich and freshman outfielder Jourdin Hering.
Stony Brook will be back in conference play on Wednesday when it hosts another game at University Field on April 26 at 3 p.m. against Hartford.