Despite a difficult ending to their day on Saturday, Feb. 29, Stony Brook Softball had to recuperate and prepare for the final two games of the Spring Break Challenge on Sunday, March 1.
Their doubleheader, however, started with a tough 6-1 loss against the No. 19 Virginia Tech Hokies in the morning and finished with a heartbreaking 2-1 walk-off loss against the Jacksonville Dolphins in extra innings. After scoring nine runs in the first two games of this weekend series, the Seawolves managed to score just two runs in their final two games.
In the first game of the day, the Seawolves struggled against the Hokies, who scored first in the second inning. An error by freshman outfielder Shauna Nuss allowed freshman infielder Rebecca Ludowig to cross home on an unearned run, giving Virginia Tech an early 1-0 lead.
The next inning, the Hokies kept up the pressure by scoring three more runs. Sophomore infielder Meredith Slaw hit an RBI single up the middle before junior catcher Mackenzie Lawter hit a two-run home run to make it 4-0. It was enough to knock out Stony Brook sophomore pitcher Shelbi Denman who went 2.2 innings and earned the loss, sending her to a 3-1 record. It was her second start of the weekend after pitching a complete game and earning the win Friday afternoon against the Akron Zips. Senior pitcher Melissa Rahrich came on in relief.
Her appearance was not perfect either, however, as she gave up two runs in the top of the sixth inning off an RBI double from freshman infielder Maddie Rountree and an RBI single from junior outfielder Darby Trull. Rahrich was replaced by junior pitcher Dawn Bodrug, who kept the Hokies scoreless for the rest of the game.
Bodrug’s perfect game last Sunday against Cornell was nearly replicated by Hokies junior pitcher Keely Rochard, who was one out away from completing a no-hitter. However, senior infielder Riley Craig had other ideas. She launched her first home run of the season with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, giving Stony Brook their first and only hit of the game to make it 6-1.
Rochard, who was named to the Preseason’s All-ACC Team, improved her record to 11-3 after her stellar performance where she struck out eleven Seawolves and walked none.
There was no time to sulk, as Stony Brook only had a brief intermission before their 12:30 p.m. game against the Jacksonville Dolphins. Bodrug, who pitched 1.2 innings in relief in the first game, started the second game opposite sophomore pitcher Skylar Whitty.
The short rest did not matter to Bodrug as she cruised through the game, keeping the Dolphins scoreless from the start. This helped the Seawolves, who did not score their first run until the top of the fifth inning. Sophomore infielder Lindsey Osmer hit a single down the line before freshman catcher Corinne Badger walked. Two batters later, senior outfielder Jourdin Hering reached first base on an error by junior infielder Serena Quinata, her second of the game. Osmer scored to make it 1-0 Stony Brook and Whitty was charged with an unearned run.
Bodrug was dominant until the bottom of the sixth inning when she surrendered a solo home run to junior infielder Hannah Roberts, tying the game 1-1. The Dolphins did not score the rest of that inning or the inning after, which meant that Stony Brook would have to play in extra innings for the second time this tournament.
The Seawolves failed to score in the top of the eighth inning which ended up costing them the game. In the bottom of the eighth — with Bodrug still pitching — freshman catcher Caroline Watson hit a pinch-hit walk-off RBI double to left field, winning the game for the Dolphins. Despite only giving up two runs and striking out nine batters, Bodrug’s record fell to 3-2 despite owning a sub-1 ERA.
Stony Brook’s offense did not help Bodrug, as they only managed to get two hits the entire game. The Seawolves finished the doubleheader with three hits and two runs.
Whitty, who pitched all eight innings for the Dolphins, improved her record to 7-3 and ERA to 1.92 after striking out ten batters and only giving up an unearned run.
The Seawolves’ record stands at 7-3 on the season after the pair of losses. They will prepare for another road trip to Towson, Maryland for the Towson DeMarini Tiger Clash at the Tiger Softball Complex. There, they will play four games over the weekend as they try to snap out of this 3-game losing streak.