The Stony Brook softball team has hit poorly with runners in scoring position for most of the season, but has consistently found ways to win regardless. This Saturday and Sunday, their struggles finally caught up to them when they were swept by the Albany Great Danes in a three-game road series; the Seawolves were outscored 11-3 despite outhitting Albany 21-17.
The trio of losses dropped Stony Brook to 9-4 in-conference and into a first-place tie with the UMBC Retrievers, who swept the Maine Black Bears this weekend. The Seawolves conclude their regular season next weekend at home against UMBC in a series that will now determine the America East champion.
Senior pitcher Dawn Bodrug, looking to cement her case for the America East Pitcher of the Year award, saw her ERA increase to 1.43 in two starts.
Bodrug got the ball in game one and stayed on the mound through extra innings, but allowed a two-out walk-off grand slam in the eighth to first baseman Maranda Jimenez that sealed the Seawolves’ 6-2 loss.
Freshman left fielder Julianna Sanzone was Stony Brook’s only baserunner in the first four innings, but Bodrug escaped jams in the second and fourth with only one run surrendered to keep the score close.
In the fifth, graduate catcher Jordyn Nowakowski homered to tie the score and gave the Seawolves momentum heading into the sixth. There, freshman second baseman Kyra McFarland singled and stole second, allowing her to score on senior shortstop Nicole McCarvill’s double.
But with McCarvill on third and junior designated player Lindsey Osmer on second, Nowakowski hit a fly ball to end the inning and keep Stony Brook’s lead at 2-1. Bodrug preserved the lead until the bottom of the seventh, but surrendered an RBI single to Jimenez that tied the score and forced extra innings
McCarvill hit into a double play to end the top of the eighth, leaving it up to Bodrug to extend the game. She struck out the first two batters, but a walk and two straight errors in the infield loaded the bases. The stage was set for Jimenez, whose grand slam snapped the Seawolves’ three-game win streak and instantly shifted the landscape of the America East.
Stony Brook’s offensive struggles continued in game two, and even a stellar pitching performance from Rahrich could not save them from a 2-0 loss. Albany pitcher Wendi Hammond stranded all four of the Seawolves’ baserunners and at one point retired 10 straight batters.
Rahrich gave up six hits but controlled the pace of the game, stranding four batters and striking out six. However, Albany third baseman Kelly Barkevich hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning for the game’s only runs.
That left it up to the offense to try and tie the score, but Rahrich was the only one to reach base in the sixth inning or seventh innings. Osmer, Nowakowski and graduate third baseman Riley Craig went down 1-2-3 to end the game.
Stony Brook built some offensive momentum in the third game off a 3-for-4 day by graduate center fielder Jourdin Hering, but left batters on base in each of the first six innings. They ended the game with nine hits but just a lone Sanzone RBI to show for it in the 3-1 loss.
Bodrug began the game in typically dominant fashion, retiring the first six batters. The Seawolves capitalized and took a 1-0 lead in the second inning: Craig led off with a double, and Sanzone brought her home on a grounder down the middle.
But the game got away from Bodrug in the third, where she walked three batters and allowed a single. She escaped with only one run allowed, but then gave up a two-run home run in the fourth before being replaced by Rahrich. In 3.2 innings, she gave up three earned runs and uncharacteristically recorded just one strikeout.
Rahrich only allowed one Great Dane to reach base, but Stony Brook’s bats provided her with little help. Strikeouts killed a handful of two-out rallies, and Albany pitcher Briana Garrett earned the save by tearing through Rahrich, McCarvill and Osmer in the seventh.