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Stony Brook swept in low-scoring series by Delaware

Left fielder Shauna Nuss lays out to make a diving catch on Saturday, March 18 against Hofstra. The Stony Brook softball team was swept by Delaware this past weekend. TIM GIORLANDO/THE STATESMAN

Despite a pair of gems from starting pitcher Ashton Melaas, the Stony Brook softball team’s bats could not muster up enough to capitalize on either one.

It was a bad trip to Delaware for the Seawolves (13-20, 3-11 CAA), who were swept by the first-place Delaware Blue Hens in a three-game series over the weekend. They found no luck in their Friday doubleheader, falling 1-0 in game one and 5-2 in game two. In the series finale on Saturday, Stony Brook failed to avoid the sweep with a 3-2 loss.

Game one had Melaas’ name written all over it early, holding the fourth-best scoring offense in the conference scoreless through the first three innings. Delaware starting pitcher Emily Winburn went blow-for-blow with Melaas, keeping the game knotted at zero.

After consecutive singles to open the bottom of the fourth, Delaware catcher Jayla Brooks plated the game’s lone run with an RBI single. Left fielder Alyssa Costello threw out Delaware designated player Grace Hrustich at home plate to prevent another run from scoring.

Unfortunately for Stony Brook, both Melaas and Costello’s efforts to limit the damage were wasted. The team never found an answer against Winburn, only mustering up one more hit over the remainder of the game. 

The Seawolves had an opportunity to tie things up in the top of the seventh inning, but back-to-back lineouts to first base stranded Costello at second to end the game.

Winburn dominated Stony Brook in game one, going all seven innings for a complete game shutout while striking out four.

In game two of the doubleheader, Delaware got to starting pitcher Mia Haynes early. After a pair of singles, the Blue Hens took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on a sacrifice fly from second baseman Brittney Mendoza.  

In the bottom of the third inning, Mendoza continued to hurt Stony Brook by lining a two-run single up the middle. Later that inning, Delaware continued to pour it on with an RBI single from shortstop Chloe Blantz and an RBI groundout from Brooks.

In the top of the fourth inning, shortstop Naiah Ackerman lined a two-run single into right-center field to finally get Stony Brook on the scoreboard. Delaware starting pitcher Taylor Wroten shook that run-scoring hit off and did not allow another run for the rest of the afternoon.

Game three started off much like game one, as Melaas and Winburn engaged in another pitcher’s duel. Melaas made things look easy, retiring the first nine hitters she faced. The Seawolves fared much better against Winburn in game three, equaling their game one hit total by the third inning. Despite the improved effort against Winburn, Stony Brook was unable to capitalize, stranding five runners on base.

Delaware’s bats woke up in the bottom of the fourth inning, as a fielding error by third baseman Brooke Dye was followed by a two-run single by Mendoza. 

The Seawolves finally got on the board in the top of the sixth inning, taking advantage of an error from Mendonza. Catcher Corinne Badger scored on the error after she singled to open the inning.

Mendoza made up for her mishap in the bottom half of the inning with a hard-hit double off the left-field wall. Hrustrich then brought Mendoza home with an RBI single up the middle, extending Delaware’s lead to 3-1 heading into the final frame. 

After second baseman Sofia Chambers and pinch hitter Shauna Nuss were retired with ease, Winburn found herself in trouble. Stony Brook mounted a two-out rally, kicked off with a triple from center fielder Alicia Orosco. Down to its last strike, Ackerman lined an RBI single into right field to make it a one-run game. With a chance to be the hero for the second consecutive weekend, Badger struck out swinging to end the game.

The Seawolves’ bats were dormant for the majority of the series. Ackerman headlined the offense by going 3-for-8 and 3 RBI on the weekend. In the circle, Melaas was solid all weekend, tossing 12 innings and allowing just three earned runs. She struck out eight total batters and walked none while scattering 13 hits.

Head coach Megan Bryant did not speak to the media after any of the three games.

Stony Brook will get a reprieve from conference play this upcoming week, as it will face the Manhattan Jaspers on Thursday in a doubleheader. The Jaspers are 6-23 on the season and are winners of three straight after beating Fairfield 5-2 on Saturday. The first pitch for game one is scheduled for 2 p.m.

 

 

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