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Great Danes spoil Stony Brook home opener

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After splitting the doubleheader on Saturday, the UAlbany softball team took the series finale on Sunday from the Stony Brook Seawolves to take the first softball series played at the Long Island school this year.

The series started on Saturday with UAlbany losing the first game of the day’s doubleheader, 2-0. The Seawolves cruised to victory on the back of a stellar pitching performance from sophomore Melissa Rahrich, who pitched seven scoreless innings and allowed only one hit from the Great Danes while striking out six.

Stony Brook’s entire offense in the first game came from two solo home runs from center fielder Katelyn Corr and designated hitter Taylor Penchin.

The second game of Saturday’s doubleheader brought about a thrilling back and forth, extra innings affair.

UAlbany opened up the scoring with an RBI single from left fielder Sarah Petzold in the top of the first inning. Stony Brook answered right back in the bottom half of the inning with a solo home run from Rahrich.

The game remained tied up at 1-1 until Stony Brook took a two-run lead in the fifth inning. UAlbany rallied back to tie up again in the sixth. The game then went into extra innings where an RBI single in the eight from shortstop Amelia Ely scored Petzold, giving the Great Danes a 4-3 lead. Freshman Katie Falotico also scored in the inning on a passed ball to give the Danes a decisive 5-3 lead that they held onto to win.

“We didn’t hit that well today but got some key hits in that second game to come back and win it,” said UAlbany head coach Chris Cannata. “We need to make some adjustments tomorrow and continue working on the things that we need to in order to keep getting better.”

The Great Danes seemed to take their coach’s words to heart as the third game of the series saw them get to an early 3-0 lead in the second inning on RBI singles from Maranda Jimenez and McKenzie Bump. Chelsea Henige drew a bases loaded walk in the inning as well.

A solo home run from Petzold in the fifth inning stretched the UAlbany lead to 4-1 and an RBI groundout from Ely in the seventh grew the lead to 5-1.

Stony Brook catcher Irene Rivera homered off junior Celeste Verdolivo in the bottom of the seventh but it proved be for naught as Verdolivo got through the rest of the inning unscathed to seal a 5-2 UAlbany win.

The Great Danes will enjoy a few days off before heading to Amherst, MA to play a doubleheader against Massachusetts on Wednesday.

They will return to UAlbany next weekend for a three game weekend series against Maine.

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