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Softball swept by Binghamton

Alison Cukrov took the loss in two of the three games, but the Seawolves clinched a birth into the AE tourney. (NINA LIN / THE STATESMAN)
Alison Cukrov took the loss in two of the three games, but the Seawolves clinched a birth into the AE tourney. (NINA LIN / THE STATESMAN)

The Stony Brook softball team was able to clinch a spot in the America East tournament on Sunday, despite being swept in a weekend series by Binghamton. A loss by Maine put the Seawolves in the playoffs.

In the opener of Saturday’s doubleheader, the Bearcats took a 2-0 lead on a pair of solo home runs by Jessica Phillips and Taylor Chaffee. Then in the bottom of the seventh ,the Seawolves were down to their final out when junior Jessica Combs came to the plate. She delivered a two run single to tie the game at two, and force extra innings.

In the top of eight, Binghamton retook the lead on a go-ahead single by Chaffee. Binghamton pitcher Demi Laney was then able to shut down the Seawolves in the bottom of the frame to grab the win for her team.

Combs had two hits, two RBIs, and a stolen base in the first game. Sophomore Shayla Giosia also hit two doubles for the Seawolves.

Sophomore starting pitcher Alison Cukrov picked up the loss, despite pitching a complete game. She struck out eight batters in a losing effort.

In the second game, the Seawolves got another strong pitching performance, out of freshman Jane Sallen. She also pitched a complete game, giving up three runs, and striking out six.

But, Sallen’s performance was not enough, as Bearcats’ starting pitcher Rhoda Marsteller pitched a complete game shutout for her team. She struck out seven, picking up her eighth win of the season.

Stony Brook had six hits in the second game but failed to get a runner across the plate.  Junior Olivia Mintun, sophomore Bria Green, and freshman Kellie Reynolds each had a pair of hits in the game.

Coach Megan Bryant was not pleased with her team’s effort over the weekend, and had a long discussion with her team on the field after Sunday’s loss. “We didn’t score,” said Coach Bryant. “We had zero offense. I thought the pitching gave a good enough chance to win the first two games, and I’m disappointed with the fifth inning (on Sunday).”

Sunday’s game was scoreless entering the fifth inning. The Bearcats were then able to pick up five runs in a top of the fifth that included only two hits, neither of which left the infield.

Stony Brook pitching walked five batters in the inning, and at total of nine batters in the game. “The walks are unacceptable,” said Coach Bryant. “They’re too good of an offensive team to be giving them freebies like that.”

At the plate Seawolves once again failed to capitalize with runners in scoring position. The team had a chance to take the lead in the bottom of the third inning, when they loaded the bases with just one out.

But, junior Olivia Mintun and Giosia were unable to drive in a run, and the game remained scoreless. Mintun struck out swinging, before Giosia flew out to right field to end the third.

“We need to be committed to situational hitting, hitting the ball behind runners and hitting sacrifice flies to generate offense,” said Coach Bryant.

Cukrov took the loss in the game for the Seawolves. She battled her way through 4.1 innings, in which she gave up four hits and walked five, but only let two runs score.

Despite the tough weekend Stony Brook will join Binghamton, Albany, and Hartford at the America East tournament. This will be the fifth time in six years the Seawolves will play in the tournament.

Coach Bryant however said her team was fortunate to make the tournament, after the way they have played recently. “We’ve been a pretty consistent team defensively and our pitching has been coming around lately, but the last couple of weeks, the runs have been really hard to come by,” said Coach Bryant.

Stony Brook will now have six home games this week to wrap up their regular season. They will play a doubleheader against Seton Hall on Wednesday, an afternoon game against Iona on Thursday, and a three game set against Boston University over the weekend.

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