After a dreadful start to the weekend, things ended on a high note for the Stony Brook softball team.
Getting a reprieve from conference action, the Seawolves (16-22, 3-11 CAA) hosted a pair of nonconference opponents in the Providence Friars and the Army Golden Knights. Playing just a single game on Saturday, poor pitching plagued Stony Brook in a 12-7 loss. In a doubleheader against Army on Sunday, Stony Brook was run-ruled 10-2 before returning the favor with a 9-1 mercy-rule victory.
In the bottom of the second inning, Stony Brook cracked the scoreboard first in game one with a pair of home runs from first baseman Ashley Jacobson and designated player Emily Reinstein. Starting pitcher Ashton Melaas quickly surrendered that lead in the next inning.
After allowing an RBI triple to Providence second baseman Jacque Harrington, Melaas surrendered back-to-back home runs to designated player Julia Renny and shortstop Emma Douma. Melaas was pulled in favor of relief pitcher Amanda Flynn, who struggled with her command and loaded the bases. However, she got a king-sized out and left them loaded to get Stony Brook out of the third inning.
Relief pitcher Mia Haynes entered the game in the top of the fourth inning. With a runner on second base, Renny extended the Friars’ lead with an RBI single.
The Seawolves showed life in the bottom of the sixth inning when Jacobson launched a two-run shot for her second home run of the day, closing the gap to just one run.
However, Providence squashed any hope of a Seawolves rally with seven runs in the top of the seventh inning.
The Friars bookended their crooked number with a pair of home runs: a leadoff homer from Douma to spark the barrage and a three-run bomb from Renny to cap it. Renny finished the day 3-for-5 with six RBIs.
Now trailing 12-4, catcher Corinne Badger smoked a three-run homer in the bottom of the inning, but it was too little, too late for Stony Brook.
Melaas and Haynes both struggled mightily in the circle against the Friars. Melaas allowed four unearned runs on four hits in three innings pitched, but still struck out five batters without a walk. Haynes surrendered eight earned runs on 11 hits in 3 ⅔ innings pitched, only tallying one strikeout while walking two.
Stony Brook allowed a season-high 16 hits to Providence on Saturday. After the game, head coach Megan Bryant was not happy about her team’s performance.
“We needed to pitch better,” Bryant said in a postgame interview with The Statesman. “I’m not really pleased with the game today for a lot of reasons.”
Game two was just as troubling for the Seawolves. Just four batters into the game, Army had already jumped out to a 3-0 lead off of Melaas.
Right fielder Catherine Anne Kupinski got a run back in the bottom of the inning with an RBI single, but Jacobson bounced into a double play to leave two runners on base.
Army blew the game open in the top of the third inning when first baseman Ashton White launched a two-run homer and was followed with an RBI double from shortstop Lauren Little. Another two-run shot by Army catcher Maddie Wilkes in the top of the fourth inning ended Melaas’ day. She was pulled in favor of Flynn, who gave up two unearned runs in the top of the fifth inning to reach the mercy rule.
Army starting pitcher Amanda Eaglin allowed two runs on seven hits, striking out four batters and walking one in five innings pitched.
Looking to muster up a win in game three, the Seawolves got their bats going through the first two innings with a pair of RBI singles from Jacobson and left fielder Shauna Nuss.
Haynes got the start and allowed a run in the top of the third inning, but Stony Brook answered with RBI singles by Nuss, Kupinski and right fielder Alyssa Costello in the fourth to take a 5-1 lead.
After Haynes pitched two more scoreless innings, the Seawolves’ offense had one more big inning to put the mercy rule back into effect. Shortstop Hailey Guerrero slapped an opposite-field single to drive in a pair. Later in the inning, Nuss was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force in a run. An RBI single by center fielder Alicia Orosco walked the game off, as Stony Brook’s lead extended to eight runs after six innings.
Bryant said that Stony Brook played more of its brand of softball in the second game, allowing it to salvage the weekend.
“We really didn’t play to our standards in game one in all three parts of the game, and [Army] came out swinging,” Bryant said. “We played more of our game: pitching, defense and good situational hitting in game two, and that was the difference.”
Serving as mostly a pinch runner this season, Guerrero capitalized on her chance to swing the bat. The freshman broke out in her third-career start, going 4-for-4 with a double, two RBIs and three runs scored.
Guerrero said that a selfless mindset helped lead her to the monster day.
“Honestly, I’ve just been putting in a lot of work and I want to help the team in any way that I can, especially when I get the chance to,” Guerrero said. “My mindset was just to stay positive and put balls in play to help my team.”
Nuss went 2-for-3 at the plate, driving in a career-high three runs in the process. She also scored once, took one hit-by-pitch and stole a base in her career day.
Graduating in May, Nuss said she is just looking to continue her farewell season on a high note.
“Just taking advantage of all the opportunities I have left, given that it’s my last season,” Nuss said. “So just seeing the ball and wanting to hit it hard was all that I was thinking.”
Following a rough game on Saturday, Haynes turned it around on Sunday. She allowed one run (zero earned) on five hits, striking out six batters and walking only two in a six-inning complete game. She is now 9-6 on the year.
The Seawolves will look to stay strong in nonconference games, as they will host the Iona Gaels on Tuesday. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. The Gaels are 13-21-1 on the season after being swept in a doubleheader by Canisius on Sunday.