The Stony Brook softball team’s postseason came to an end Friday, May 11 with a 9-0 loss to the Albany Great Danes after defeating the Maine Black Bears earlier in the afternoon 2-0.
“It’s tough to see the season end but we fought hard to extend it today,” head coach Megan T. Bryant said in a press release following the loss. “We played a terrific game against Maine in terms of pitching, defense and execution. We started off well vs. Albany but they got their bats going and that was the difference. We were a much improved team this year and look forward to what lies ahead.”
Albany junior catcher Chelsea Henige hit a solo home run in the bottom of the third to begin what would be a Great Danes scoring rout over the next four innings. Stony Brook sophomore pitcher Melissa Rahrich struggled with her command and loaded the bases in the bottom of the fourth. Albany freshman first baseman Katie Falotico capitalized on fatigued Rahrich with an RBI single, extending the lead to 3-0 and knocking the pitcher from the circle after 23.2 innings of work through the three-day tournament.
The pitching change did not spark momentum for Stony Brook, however, as junior pitcher Lindsey Hughes gave up three runs in the bottom of the fifth to increase her team’s deficit to 6-0. Sophomore pitcher Taylor Pechin took over for Hughes to close out the bottom of the fifth, but struggled to shut down the Albany offense and gave up two consecutive singles in the bottom of the sixth. Sophomore first baseman Kelly Barkevich pounced on the struggling Pechin and crushed a pitch over the right field wall to put the Great Danes up 9-0, the eventual final score.
The Seawolves matchup against the Black Bears earlier Friday afternoon was a much more tightly contested game. Maine freshman pitcher Kyleigh O’Donnell and Rahrich dueled on the rubber and only gave up a combined nine hits in the game. Neither allowed a runner to reach past first until Stony Brook put runners in scoring position in the bottom of the fourth, but the team could not bring them home.
O’Donnell’s pitching began to break down after four innings and she allowed two runners to reach base to begin the fifth. Rahrich singled to shortstop to load the bases after junior centerfielder Katelyn Corr advanced one base on a pitch that hit senior left fielder Ileana Torres. Junior catcher Irene Rivera won a batter’s box battle against O’Donnell and drew a bases-loaded walk after a 14-pitch at bat to give Stony Brook a 1-0 lead.
Freshman second baseman Nicole McCarvill led off the top of the sixth inning with a double down the left field line. Sophomore third baseman Riley Craig advanced McCarvill to third with a sacrifice bunt before sophomore pinch hitter Allyssa Malony drove McCarvill home with a sacrifice fly. Malony then extended the Seawolves lead 2-0 for the final run of the game.
Stony Brook finished the season with a 25-22 overall record, an improvement over its 18-29 record from last season. Rahrich cemented her status as a team leader with an impressive performance on both sides of the diamond and led the America East in batting average, slugging percentage and total bases while finishing with a 14-10 record in the circle this season. Her contributions to the ball club were recognized by the America East when she was awarded the America East Player of the Year award.
Albany defeated UMass Lowell in two consecutive games to claim the America East Championship for the second year in a row on Sunday, May 13 at the Binghamton Softball Complex.