Senior pitcher/first baseman Melissa Rahrich in a game against UMass Lowell on April 28, 2019. After a strong pitching performance against Iona on Saturday, Rahrich dominated at the plate against La Salle, going 3-3. SARA RUBERG/STATESMAN FILE

Putting behind a weekend in which they lost three of five games, Stony Brook Softball went to Towson, Maryland this weekend to try and get back on the right track. Despite losing a heartbreaker in their final game on Sunday, March 8, the Seawolves finished the weekend 3-1 with the help of strong pitching performances and a bounceback from the offense. Their record improved to 10-4 on the season.

In a rematch of their victory on Friday, the Seawolves beat the Iona Gaels 7-1, tallying 13 hits in a dominant victory. Junior infielder Nicole McCarvill led the pack, going 4-4 while scoring three runs.

“This was a well-played and complete game win for us,” head coach Megan Bryant said in a press release. “Our execution was good, Mel [Rahrich] pitched a solid game and our defense was terrific. We played to a high standard in all three facets of our game.”

McCarvill’s first run of the game came in the top of the first inning, after she singled, stole second base, and then finally reached home on an error by sophomore catcher Hannah Collins. 

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The score stayed 1-0 until the top of the fifth inning, when senior outfielder Jourdin Hering and McCarvill both singled to set the table for senior infielder Riley Craig, who came up clutch and hit a 2-out 2-run double to make it 3-0. In the bottom half of the inning, however, the Gaels scored their first run when junior outfielder Kayla Hujber hit an RBI single to shortstop to make it 3-1. 

It was the only run allowed by senior pitcher Melissa Rahrich, who started the game for Stony Brook. She pitched a complete game, retiring nine of the first 10 batters she faced while striking out five. It was her second win of the season.

“It was really important for us to come out strong today, especially since we had beaten Iona yesterday,” Rahrich said about her performance in a press release. “Pitching-wise, I wanted to really focus on my spins and keep the hitters off-balance.” 

Stony Brook cushioned their lead in the top of the seventh, when they scored four more runs. Hering, McCarvill and Rahrich all singled to lead off the inning before Craig drew a bases-loaded walk to score a run. Two batters later, sophomore infielder Lindsey Osmer hit an RBI single to make it 5-1 and having McCarvill score her third run of the game. The cherry on top for the Seawolves was a 2-out 2-run double for freshman catcher Corinne Badger to make it 7-1 and finish the game in dominant fashion. 

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Redshirt-senior Alana Evans, who started for the Gaels, pitched a complete game but gave up all seven runs, six of which were earned. Despite surrendering 13 hits and taking the loss, she did manage to get 10 strikeouts. 

Riding this wave into their Sunday doubleheader, the Seawolves’ offense remained hot as they shutout the La Salle Explorers 8-0 in their 10 a.m. game. Like their previous game against Iona, Stony Brook struck first, scoring in the bottom of the first inning off an RBI single by Craig. 

After a strong pitching performance against Iona on Saturday, Rahrich dominated at the plate against the Explorers, going 3-3 and hitting a 2-run home run in the bottom of the third to extend the lead to 3-0.

It was in the bottom of the sixth inning, however, that the Seawolves poured it on and broke the game open, scoring five runs to seal the 8-0 win. The bases were loaded with two outs when Hering was hit by a pitch, advancing her to first base. McCarvill was up to bat next and with the bases still juiced, she launched a grand slam to put the final nail in La Salle’s coffin. Both McCarvill and Craig went 2-3 in this game, continuing their good form at the plate. 

On the pitching side, sophomore Shelbi Denman started for Stony Brook and pitched a six-inning shutout while striking out five batters, giving her a win and improving her record to 4-1. She retired 13 of the first 14 batters she faced. Opposite her was sophomore Kelly Toomey, who gave up all eight runs, only three of which were earned, and took the loss.

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The Seawolves didn’t have too much time to celebrate, as they had the second game of their doubleheader against Towson Tigers at 3 p.m. Stony Brook failed to complete the weekend sweep, losing 3-2 to the hosts in extra innings.

Things stayed quiet for the first two innings before the Seawolves came to life in the top of the third inning. After Hering singled and stole second base, Rahrich hit her second 2-run homer of the day, giving Stony Brook a 2-0 lead.

Towson would not let the Seawolves off easy, tying the game 2-2 in the bottom of the fifth inning. After getting runners into scoring position, sophomore shortstop Gracyn Houmis hit an RBI single to center field to give the Tigers their first run. The next batter was outfielder freshman Lauren Ringhiser, who hit another RBI single to center to tie the game. 

Junior pitcher Dawn Bodrug was able to escape the inning without giving Towson the lead, but it was enough to get her replaced by Rahrich, who came on to pitch in relief. Bodrug still had a solid game, however, pitching five innings while only giving up two runs and striking out six. While it wasn’t as good as her 1-hit performance against Iona on Friday, it is still a solid performance that keeps her in great form. 

Neither team broke the deadlock within seven innings, so the game had to be settled in extras. It didn’t take long for the game to end, as the Tigers ended the game in the bottom of the eighth inning. With Rahrich pitching, senior first baseman Madison Wilson hit a walk-off sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Ringhiser and winning the game. 

Rahrich took the loss for the Seawolves while sophomore pitcher Sara Johnson got the win for the Tigers. She came on in relief in the fourth inning, pitching four shutout innings while ringing up eight strikeouts and only allowing one hit. 

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The Seawolves will have another busy weekend next week, as they travel to the West Coast for the Seattle University Invitational at Logan Field. They will play five games over three days against Seattle and Portland State.

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