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Softball drops all three contests in James Madison Tournament

Junior catcher Irene Rivera walks off the field in a game during the 2016 season. Rivera scored the first run for the Seawolves in the James Madison Tournament in a game against Ohio. ARACELY JIMENEZ/STATESMAN FILE

The Stony Brook softball team traveled to Harrisonburg, Virginia over the weekend to play against James Madison, East Carolina and Ohio in the James Madison Tournament. The team was initially supposed to play five games, but due to scheduling changes, only played three. The Seawolves struggled to gain any momentum and dropped all three of their matchups.

Stony Brook started the matchup against Ohio strong on the offensive end. Junior catcher Irene Rivera drove in the first run of the tournament for the Seawolves with a double in the second inning. Sophomore pitcher Taylor Pechin added two more runs with her first home run of the season in the third inning to put the Seawolves up 3-0.

The Seawolves were unable to retain the lead, as the Bobcats responded with two runs in the fourth inning and five runs in the fifth to take a 7-3 lead. Ohio freshman shortstop Katie Yun added some insurance runs in the seventh by hitting a two-run homer over left center field.

Junior centerfielder MacKenzie Brunswick gained another run with an RBI single to left field in the seventh inning to give the Bobcats a 10-3 lead, which they would hold on to win.

East Carolina dominated Stony Brook in the second game of the tournament. The Seawolves pitching were rocked by the Pirates offense, with each pitcher giving up two or more runs. Senior first baseman Karlie Smith started the scoring rout for the Pirates with a double to right center field. Freshman shortstop Ashleigh Inae blasted a two-run homer over the right field wall to put the Pirates up 4-0 and knock Pechin out of the circle.

Senior designated hitter Meredith Burroughs added another run with a solo homer over the right field wall to give the Pirates a 5-0 lead. East Carolina gained seven more runs in the third inning capped off by a three-run homer by redshirt-sophomore first baseman Tate McClellan to take a 12-0 lead.

The Seawolves attempted to mount a comeback but found little success. Junior centerfielder Katelyn Corr drove in freshman shortstop Nicole McCarvill with an RBI single in the fourth inning. Pechin hit her second home run of the tournament with a two-run blast over left field to score herself and Rahrich in the fifth inning. The deficit was insurmountable, as the Pirates won 16-3 in five innings via the mercy rule.

Stony Brook began the tournament on the wrong foot in its game against James Madison. The Dukes got the better of sophomore pitcher Melissa Rahrich and scored five runs in the first inning. Rahrich was taken out of the pitching circle after she gave up three more runs in the second inning.

Pechin didn’t fare much better as she gave up an RBI triple to freshman right fielder Michelle Sullivan to further extend the deficit. Sophomore second baseman Madison Naujokas topped off the rout with a two-run home run over the right center field wall to give the Dukes an 11-0 lead.

The Seawolves were silent on offense and only able to get three batters on base by walks. Freshman pitcher Payton Buresch pitched a gem for James Madison and recorded the first no-hitter of her collegiate career. Buresch struck out four batters as the Dukes cruised to a 13-0 victory in five innings via the mercy rule.

Stony Brook will look to rebound in its home opener against St. John’s on Wednesday, March 21 at 2:30 p.m. at University Field.

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