Graduate pitcher Melissa Rahrich is not one to be outdone.
Rahrich tossed the Stony Brook softball team’s second straight one-hit shutout in a 2-0 home victory over the St. John’s Red Storm on April 20, following senior Dawn Bodrug’s one-hit shutout last Wednesday.
“That was one of Mel’s best games of the year,” head coach Megan T. Bryant said in a press release. “She had really good command. She was mixing her pitches well and had great composure out there in the circle.”
Rahrich was dominant from the start, needing only four pitches to retire the first three batters on groundouts. She was nearly perfect the rest of the way, allowing a second-inning triple and hitting shortstop Kaitlyn Lologo with a pitch in the fourth for her only other baserunner of the game. She produced six strikeouts, needing just three pitches on four of them.
“I’m really successful when I get ahead in the count,” Rahrich said in an interview. “For me personally, I use my defense a lot, so having the defense behind me, keeping the ball low — I really just went right at the hitters today.”
The Seawolves committed no errors for the second straight game, complementing Rahrich’s uncanny ability to draw soft contact on early pitches. Only one St. John’s out came on a fly ball.
All of the game’s offense came in the third inning. Rahrich and freshman second baseman Kyra McFarland led off with singles and senior shortstop Nicole McCarvill walked to load the bases. Though McFarland was tagged out at home on the next hit, graduate catcher Jordyn Nowakowski walked to bring in the first run — her eighth RBI in the last nine games and best on the team over that stretch.
Graduate third baseman Riley Craig followed with a line drive to center on the first pitch she saw, bringing in McCarvill with time to spare.
Though Stony Brook notched eight hits, they continued to struggle with runners in scoring position and stranded 11 batters. They loaded the bases in the second and fifth innings, but failed to convert both times.
“Obviously we did a good job getting our runners on today,” Rahrich said. “We could’ve pushed a few more across, but we did a good job getting them on.”
Last minute schedule changes have kept the Seawolves on their toes all year, and this week was no exception; a thunderstorm cancelled their doubleheader with UMass on April 21. Rahrich, however, hasn’t been fazed.
“Coach always says keep your eyes forward,” she said. “So just knowing that these games are super important and we’re super fortunate because it prepares us for conference games finally again this weekend.”