Many things in this world are geographically confined. Outfielder Alyssa Costello’s ability to hit above .500 is not one of them.
Returning for the Stony Brook softball team’s home opener doubleheader after 23 straight road games, Costello turned in 3-for-4 and 2-for-4 performances with three RBIs in a sweep of Sacred Heart on Thursday. Stony Brook won by a score of 10-6 and then 7-0.
Catcher Corinne Badger continued her unprecedented home run rate with a two-run homer in the second inning of game one, her 11th of the season.
But the true breakout star was pitcher Ashton Melaas, who pitched a shutout for the first time in her young Stony Brook career in game two. She went the distance and allowed six hits, putting up better stats than star pitcher Dawn Bodrug did in game one.
Game one was unusual in that it was the Seawolves’ (16-9) offense that bailed out Bodrug. Bodrug lasted all seven innings but gave up nine hits and four earned runs as her ERA increased to 2.55.
But Costello — whose two-RBI single in the second inning gave Stony Brook a 4-3 lead it did not relinquish — lead an offense that combined for 13 hits and just four strikeouts.
Badger’s home run immediately followed Costello’s feat. An infield throwing error allowed Sacred Heart to make it 6-5 in the fourth inning, but Stony Brook quickly extended its lead. Costello hit a hard double down the foul line and Badger was hit by a pitch, setting them up to score on a double by designated player Catherine Anne Kupinski.
In game two, Melaas walked the first two batters she faced, recalling her rocky start against Fairfield last week, but she retired the next seven batters before finally allowing a hit in the third inning. A walk loaded the bases, but Badger tagged a Sacred Heart runner out at home and Melaas drew a groundout to escape the inning.
In the meantime, Stony Brook’s offense took control even without any RBIs from Badger or Costello. The Seawolves went up 2-0 in the first inning after a wild pitch and a single by first baseman Ashley Jacobson, the first RBI of her career.
Second baseman Sofia Chambers drove in Badger on a first-pitch bunt, and two more RBI singles in the fifth inning rounded out the scoring.
Any time Sacred Heart appeared to be in scoring position, Melaas drew groundouts to end the jam. With the bases loaded in the fifth inning, Melaas retired first baseman Emily Carroll to help complete the shutout.