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Softball comes back to beat Hofstra, 8-7

Entering Tuesday’s matchup against Hofstra, senior pitcher Jane Sallen was gunning for her third consecutive no-hitter, but Hofstra’s offense would not allow that to happen.

After a wild fifth inning which featured a total of 10 runs between the two teams, the Seawolves made a comeback in the sixth inning, tying the game at seven.

Senior first baseman Melissa Phelan hit a single up the middle in the sixth inning to drive the winning run in as Stony Brook picked up its 21st victory of the year, defeating Hofstra 8-7.

“It means a lot, but it’s my job and I don’t think anything too much of it,” Phelan said. “It was really a team effort. I just played my role. It’s a big win, especially with the type of team Hofstra is. We’ll take all of the momentum we can get.”

The Seawolves started the game with a pair of runs in the first inning. But on the pitcher’s mound, Sallen failed to maintain her recent form.

Sallen allowed three hits through the first three innings, but still had a shutout going. In the fourth inning, Hofstra set the tone for the remainder of the game. Sophomore catcher Brittany Allocca led off the inning and ended Sallen’s 15.1 inning scoreless streak in the process, blasting a home run to left-centerfield to put the Pride on the scoreboard.

Starting off the fifth inning up 2-1, Sallen hit Megan Patierno and Nikki Michalowski tapped a sacrifice bunt, which moved the runner to scoring position. That is when the Pride began to pile on the hits.

Coach Megan Bryant pulled Sallen after she pitched 4.1 innings, replacing her with sophomore Maddy Neales. Neales intentionally walked the first batter she faced, virtually entering a bases loaded situation.

Senior third baseman Kim Smith stepped up to the plate with only one out. Smith hit a grand slam, taking Neales deep to left field and giving Hofstra a 6-2 lead. Following Smith’s home run, the Pride tallied another run in the inning, giving the team a 7-2 advantage.

However, the Seawolves came back in the bottom half of the frame.

Senior catcher Allie Pisciotta hit a double as Stony Brook began its comeback. Senior right fielder Kellie Reynolds drove Pisciotta in with a single, which started a four-run inning for the home team.

Down 7-6 heading into the sixth inning, Neales pitched a perfect frame.

When the Seawolves came to the plate, senior Patty Borges hit a light single up the middle, barely making it to first base safely. As she moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, Reynolds was up to the plate. She hit another single and the Seawolves tied the game at seven.

That is when Phelan stepped up to the plate. Hitting yet another single up the middle, she gave the Seawolves the lead, one the team would not relinquish.

“There is a flow to every game and I thought our team did a very good job at staying in it, even when we got down,” Bryant said. “Hofstra has a pretty potent offense, and I just like how we fought back in that fifth inning and made things happen. They have tremendous hitters up and down that line-up. That grand slam was tough to swallow, but I thought our kids battled and gave us a chance to win.”

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