Sunday, 07 May 2017 19:13

Softball Bows Out of Two-Day Playoff Battle

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Softball Bows Out of Two-Day Playoff Battle Supplied photo

The second-seeded Oswego State softball team bowed out gracefully 8-7 in an elimination game with No. 1 Cortland at the 2017 SUNYAC Championship hosted by the top-seeded Red Dragons. Sunday's game originally started on Saturday but the two squads were only able to play 17 minutes before the skies opened with heavy rain for the remainder of the day. With the loss, Oswego's fourth-ever appearance in the SUNYAC Championship and its season comes to a close with a 17-20 record.

On Sunday, the game resumed with Oswego leading 1-0 but Cortland with a runner on second and no outs in the bottom of the first frame. Cortland was able to plate two in that inning on a home run but Oswego quickly knotted the contest in the top of the second. The Red Dragons tallied the game's next three runs to pull ahead 5-2 through three innings.

At this point in the game, Oswego's bats caught fire, particularly in the fifth. After an error allowed Gabriella Vertuccio to score in the fourth – making it just a one-run deficit – Jessica Roe led off the fifth with a single before senior Ashley Lyman went yard just under the left-field foul pole. That homer – Lyman's team-leading sixth of the year – brought the game back to a stalemate at 5-5. Oswego was not done yet as Melissa Mulvaney plated Rebecca Vilchez a few batters later to regain the Laker lead. Later, in what proved to be Oswego's last run of the game, Sarah McCullough came home from third on a pass ball to go ahead 7-5. Despite having runners on the corners and no outs, the Lakers were unable to plate another run as a Cortland pitching change changed the complexion of the inning.

The pitching change worked on another level for the Red Dragons as they pinch-hit their pitcher, who had just three plate appearances on the year. Sam Van Dorn was 2-for-2 on the season, however, and continued that streak with a two-RBI double to knot the game at 7-7 in the bottom of the fifth. Oswego was then held scoreless in the sixth and Cortland used a double to plate the eventual game-winning run in the sixth. In its final at-bat, Oswego got its leadoff hitter on but a fielder's choice and a 1-6-3 double play dealt the Lakers a tough a narrow defeat.

Roe, McCullough and Claire Hewitt each finished with two hits for Oswego, with Hewitt smacking a double. McCullough scored twice while Roe reached home once. The senior trio of Lyman (2), Mulvaney (1) and Katie Heselden (1) accounted for the four Laker RBI.

Vilchez ended her outstanding freshman year at 12-10 on the rubber, throwing a complete-game against Cortland.

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