After being outperformed by a familiar foe, the Stony Brook softball team’s midweek road trip was something to forget.
The Seawolves (20-12, 1-3 AE) dropped both games of the doubleheader against the UMBC Retrievers on Wednesday, April 13, who beat Stony Brook in the America East championship last season.
Now, with a losing record in conference play, Stony Brook needs to pick up the pace before things get out of hand. UMBC (21-6, 6-2 AE) looked like the preseason favorites, just as advertised. The Retrievers are alongside UMass Lowell and UAlbany above Stony Brook. The Seawolves have four more series to make a comeback in the standings.
There is plenty of time for improvement. But with Stony Brook’s playoff ban looming, every game is that much more meaningful.
Wednesday’s series started on a pleasant note. Pitcher Dawn Bodrug (12-6, 1.87 ERA) entered the contest coming off complete-game shutouts in three straight starts. In that span, she struck out 49 batters in 20 innings and tossed back-to-back no-hitters. The magic continued when she struck out five batters in the first 2.2 innings.
The offense also got off to a strong start when second baseman Sofia Chambers singled up the middle to score first baseman Lindsey Osmer in the top of the second to give the Seawolves a 1-0 lead.
Bodrug looked to get out of the third inning unblemished, but two straight two-out baserunners paved the way for a three-run blast by UMBC right fielder Courtney Coppersmith.
The Retrievers tacked on another two-run homer in the sixth and shut down the heart of the order in the top of the seventh to secure a 5-1 win. Despite surrendering five earned runs, Bodrug went the distance. It was her 15th complete game of 2022 and the 40th of her career. She struck out nine to improve her season total to 195, tied for eighth-best in the country. However, it snapped Bodrug’s streak of 10 straight starts with double-digit strikeouts.
Tasked with taking on UMBC pitcher Kya Matter (12-1, 0.95 ERA), the Seawolves’ offense mustered four hits and a pair of walks.
Pitcher Shelbi Denman (6-6, 2.85 ERA) followed in Bodrug’s footsteps in game two. The senior went the distance for the sixth time in 2022, giving up six hits and one earned run. It was her 18th career complete game.
But UMBC’s pitching continued to be even more stellar.
Coppersmith (4-2, 0.56 ERA), whose three-run homer busted open game one, tossed a complete-game shutout in game two. She surrendered only three hits and struck out 10 to keep Stony Brook’s bats silent.
Center fielder Alicia Orosco and third baseman Brooke Dye joined Chambers as the only Seawolves to make it into the hit column, but their hits came in untimely situations. Stony Brook stranded seven runners on the basepaths in game two. By the end of play on Wednesday, 11 Seawolves were left on base.
UMBC never turned back after scoring three runs on an RBI single from center fielder Sierra Pierce and a two-run home run by catcher Anna Lonchar.
Designated player Catherine Anne Kupinski and catcher Corinne Badger — the heart of Stony Brook’s order — were each held hitless in both games. Right fielder Alyssa Costello is also 0-for-11 in her last four games, but her batting average dropped from .536 to a still-high .448.
After scoring just one run in the combined doubleheader, Stony Brook looks to bounce back in Binghamton over the weekend.