Eventually, Stony Brook Softball’s experienced roster will regain its consistency. But in the meantime, they have been following no-hitters and tournament sweeps with questionable losses like their 10-6 extra innings defeat at the Fordham Rams on March 30.
The Seawolves (13-6, 2-0 AE) were held hitless after erasing a four-run deficit in the fourth inning. Senior Dawn Bodrug struck out ten batters in relief of junior Shelbi Denman, but tired in the bottom of the ninth once her pitch count topped out at 136. Outfielder Brianna Pinto took advantage, launching a walk-off grand slam on the first pitch of her at-bat.
Fordham’s Makenzie McGrath pitched six hitless innings of relief, drawing fly outs from almost every batter she faced and only allowing baserunners on four walks.
“It was a crazy kind of game,” head coach Megan T. Bryant said in a press release. “They swing the bats well. And neither team was playing great defense.”
An unusually choppy defense hurt the Seawolves early. A fielding error, a passed ball and a walk in Fordham’s first three at-bats put Denman in a bases-loaded jam. First baseman Rachel Hubertus capitalized with a 2-RBI double and two quick singles followed to make the score 4-0.
“I don’t think we were great from the get-go,” Bryant said. “You can look at the first inning, and it was very uncharacteristic of us.”
When Denman loaded the bases again in the second inning, she was quickly pulled. Bodrug retired the next two batters, re-energizing the team going into the third. Soon, graduate third baseman Riley Craig put Stony Brook on the board with a two-out RBI single to left field.
“We got past the first inning,” Bryant said. “We got back into it. We were able to be productive.”
The comeback continued in the fourth inning with graduate outfielder Jourdin Hering’s RBI single, her fourth in as many games. With the bases loaded, graduate first baseman Melissa Rahrich drew a walk before a fielding error brought Hering home to tie the game. Even a Fordham pitcher swap to McGrath could not prevent sacrifice flies from Craig and graduate catcher Jordyn Nowakowski that gave Stony Brook a 6-4 lead.
Fordham quickly went back to work, ending Bodrug’s streak of 18 2/3 scoreless innings with an unearned sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fourth. A RBI double in the sixth tied the score, and a scoreless seventh forced extra innings.
The game unraveled for Stony Brook in the ninth. With the winning run on third base after a wild pitch, Bodrug was forced to intentionally walk .412 hitter Michaela Carter and bring Pinto up to bat. Pinto’s shot to left field was the senior’s first-ever home run, and the first allowed grand slam in Bodrug’s Seawolves career.
The loss raises red flags for the Seawolves, who have not beaten a winning team since their season opener against Bowling Green. Bodrug’s arm is carrying a team with a .259 combined batting average that ranks fifth in a loaded America East.
Stony Brook plays its second in-conference series this weekend with two doubleheaders at the Hartford Hawks.