After dropping its first six conference games, the Stony Brook softball team finally picked up its first two Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) victories with a series sweep.
The Seawolves (10-14, 2-6 CAA) traveled to Philadelphia for a Sunday afternoon doubleheader with the Drexel Dragons. The series was originally supposed to be a three-game set but was limited to just two due to inclement weather. Stony Brook dominated the Dragons in both contests to spoil their home opener, taking game one 4-0 and game two 9-4.
Starting pitcher Ashton Melaas took the circle for Stony Brook and was dominant once again. Melaas hurled a complete game shutout for a second consecutive start, allowing just five hits and no walks while striking out five over seven innings of work.
Stony Brook’s bats appeared to be half asleep against Drexel starting pitcher Lindsay Nelson until the halfway point of the game. With one out in the top of the fourth inning, first baseman Ashley Jacobson ripped a single into right field to lay the groundwork for a Seawolves rally.
After designated player Julianna Sanzone slapped a single through the right side, shortstop Naiah Ackerman crushed her first-career home run to give Melaas a 3-0 cushion.
In the top of the sixth inning, Jacobson tacked on an insurance run when she blasted her third home run of the season to make it 4-0 Stony Brook. Melaas finished the game strongly, tossing a perfect bottom of the seventh inning to slam the door on Drexel.
In the second half of the doubleheader, the Seawolves pounced on the Dragons early.
Stony Brook jumped on Drexel starting pitcher Jessica Schable to start the second inning while also being aided by some shotty defense from the Dragons. Right fielder Catherine Anne Kupinski led off the second with a bang, as she drilled her fourth home run of the season to center field.
After that, Drexel’s defense committed back-to-back errors on routine plays, setting up Ackerman with two runners on. Ackerman proceeded to drive in her fourth run of the day by lacing a single through the right side to make it 2-0 Seawolves.
Stony Brook put the game to bed in the fifth inning. After center fielder Alicia Orosco and catcher Corinne Badger both singled, Kupinski lined an RBI single into center field. Left fielder Alyssa Costello followed by knocking a two-RBI double off the center field wall. The Seawolves’ final act of the fifth inning came when Sanzone made it 6-0 with a sacrifice fly.
Drexel showed some signs of life over the next two innings by getting RBI singles from second baseman Lana Mooney and designated player Devyn Demchak. With Stony Brook now leading just 6-2, Costello assured that there would be no comeback in the top of the seventh inning.
Drexel once again showed off some bad fundamentals in a game where it committed a whopping six errors, allowing Kupinski to reach on a routine ground ball. After a double by Jacobson, Drexel relief pitcher Holly Spletzer served up a three-run bomb by Costello to make it 9-2. Costello finished the day with five RBIs after sitting in game one.
Starting pitcher Mia Haynes had a decent start, pitching 6 ⅓ innings while striking out two and walking two. Though she allowed 12 hits and four runs, Haynes was let down by her defense towards the end of her outing. Three of Drexel’s four runs were unearned due to a pair of errors by Orosco and Ackerman.
Melaas recorded the final two outs in game two after pitching all seven innings and throwing 103 pitches in game one, adding on to her fantastic day.
Stony Brook had several hitters post solid numbers on Sunday. Jacobson was the team’s premier hitter, going 4-for-6 with a double, a home run, one RBI, four runs scored and a walk. Ackerman went 3-for-6 with a home run, four RBIs, one run and a hit-by-pitch.
In game two alone, Costello went 2-for-3 with a double, a homer, five RBIs, a run scored, a sacrifice bunt and a stolen base.
Head coach Megan Bryant attributed the win to a perfectly balanced performance in each phase of the game.
“We came out today with a great mindset and approach, and wanted to be strong in all three facets of our game,” Bryant said in a postgame interview with Stony Brook Athletics. “Ashton and Mia were tough in the circle, we had offensive contributions from so many hitters and for most of the afternoon played outstanding defense, coming up with big plays.”
The Seawolves will return home to University Field this Wednesday to take on the Seton Hall Pirates in a nonconference matchup. The first pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. Seton Hall is 15-10 on the year following a three-game sweep of Creighton over the weekend.