Taylor Pechin at bat in a game Albany on March 31, 2018. She hit a two-run single in a game against Florida A&M. EMMA HARRIS/ STATESMAN FILE

The Florida Atlantic Parents’ Weekend Tournament ended in disappointment for Stony Brook Softball. The team lost four of their five games played across March 8 -10, dropping their overall record to 1-6. An 11-1 victory against the Florida A&M Rattlers in the first half of the doubleheader on Saturday, March 9 allowed the Seawolves to gain their first victory of the season. Having dealt with immense weather problems during the opening weeks of the season, Stony Brook was able to play a full slate of tournament games after the cancellation of eight out of their first ten scheduled matches.

The tournament commenced on Friday, March 8, with two games at FAU Softball Field in Boca Raton, Florida. The Seawolves took on the Yale Bulldogs in the first game of Friday’s doubleheader. Yale quickly burst out to a 4-0 lead after scoring one run in the top of the second inning and three more in the third. Freshman pitcher Shelbi Denman surrendered the loss after allowing four runs on seven hits in 2.1 innings for her first career start. Junior first baseman Melissa Rahrich connected for her second home run of the season and trimmed the deficit to 4-1, but Yale wound up winning 8-2.

Stony Brook scored first after junior outfielder Jourdin Hering was driven in by Rahrich’s single during Friday’s nightcap against the Florida Atlantic Owls. Rahrich, a two-way player, was the game’s starting pitcher and gave up six runs in an error-marred first inning. A two-run single by junior first baseman Taylor Pechin in the top of the third trimmed the score to 6-3. Although Rahrich pitched a complete game and allowed four earned runs, the Seawolves were defeated 7-3.

Stony Brook’s lone victory against Florida A&M was the first of two games played at Florida International University (FIU) Softball Field in Miami, Florida on Saturday, March 9. Rahrich’s RBI single in the top of the first helped the Seawolves take a 1-0 lead, but the Rattlers tied the game in the bottom of the inning. Carried by a grand slam from junior outfielder Alina Lance, Stony Brook exploded for six runs in the top of the third en route to a blowout victory, the team’s first this year.


“We played our best softball of the young season today,” head coach Megan T. Bryant said in a press release. “[We] showed a lot of grit after a late night of games on Friday. Our defense and pitching were much improved in today’s games and we were very productive offensively in game one.”

The Seawolves’ night opponent, host FIU Panthers, posed a more challenging threat. FIU sophomore pitcher Allison Muraskin hurled a complete-game shutout, allowing just three hits and three walks while striking out seven. Rahrich was given the start again for Stony Brook and gave up three runs in six innings while striking out six; her search for her first win of the season continues as the Seawolves fell 3-0.

The field shifted back to Boca Raton for Sunday’s lone matchup against the North Dakota State Bison. Pechin, fresh off Saturday’s victory against Florida A&M, took the mound for her second start of the year. Down 1-0, Stony Brook loaded the bases in the top of the second after two errors and a hit-by-pitch but failed to bring any of the runners home. Pechin was taken out of the game in the middle of a four-run top of the fifth for North Dakota State, and her final line included five runs on eight hits in 4.1 innings pitched. The Bison earned the victory 7-0 on Sunday as the Seawolves’ offense was blanked for the second consecutive game.

Stony Brook will continue their continental tournament trip as face the Georgetown Hoyas in the Buff & Blue Challenge on Friday, March 15 at Mount Vernon Athletic Field in Washington, D.C.


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