By Maximillian C. Burgos
The Lions softball team split a doubleheader with the State University of New York-Cortland Red Dragons. The first game was closely contested until the Red Dragons scored in the eighth inning to win the game, 2-1. The second game was more one-sided with the Lions winning, 5-1.
In the first game, junior pitcher Sam Platt took a tough loss at the hands of the Red Dragons. The loss put Platt’s season record at 3–3. She pitched a solid game, ultimately surrendering two runs on eight hits, but striking out five batters.
The Red Dragons got out to an early league by scoring in the second inning. They led the game until fifth inning when freshman infielder/outfielder Annalise Suitovsky tied the score with a booming home run that cleared the middle field fences. The homer was Suitovsky’s first as a Lion.
Platt worked her way out of a tough jam in the sixth with runners in scoring position. She induced two infield pop-ups and struck out another batter to end the threat. In a bout of tough luck, the Red Dragons got the go-ahead run in the eighth, giving them the victory.
“Before each game, the team studies the stats of the other team, and we make sure to pay close attention to what the pitchers are like,” said Jess Santelli, sophomore infielder/outfielder. “Something Coach (Sally) Miller is good at is providing us and preparing us with information about what kind of pitching we are likely to see from each pitcher, and we capitalize on that during the practices leading up to the game.
The Lions came out hungry for a victory in game two. Freshmen pitcher Kristen Barrera, sophomore pitcher Sara Bielamowicz and Platt worked together to put the lid on the Red Dragons offense in the second.
The Lions scored three runs in the third inning and established a commanding lead. An RBI single by sophomore infielder/catcher Jess McGuire put the Lions on the board followed by a fielder’s choice by Santelli, putting the Lions out ahead, 3-0.
In the fifth, McGuire hit another RBI-single to put the Lions out to a 4-0 lead. The Lions gave up a run in the sixth, but got it back when junior outfielder Madison Levine blasted a homer over the center field fence. Platt returned in the seventh to secure the win and earned her first save for the season.
In the end, Levine, McGuire and Santelli all had three hits on the day. Levine and Suitovsky both hit home runs. Bielamowicz earned the win for the second game, but Platt earned the save.
The Lions next game is a doubleheader on Wednesday, March 29, at Cabrini College. The team later returns to Dr. June Walker Field on Saturday, April 1, for a conference doubleheader against Rutgers University-Newark starting at 1 p.m.
“There’s definitely a difference playing a non-conference versus a conference team,” Santelli said. “While our approach going into each game remains constant, it is easier to go into a game when you know more about the opposing team.
“Since we know more about conference teams’ strengths and weaknesses, there is no excuse about not knowing what to expect when playing them,” Santelli added. “Out of conference teams are a little bit more challenging to prepare for since we don’t play them as frequently as we play conference teams.”