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Softball powers through Cornell to sweep doubleheader

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By Vaughnee Simmons 

Contributing Writer

sports.asp@gmail.com

April 16, 2015

Photo by UAlbany Athletics.  UAlbany softball continued their winning ways at home.
Photo by UAlbany Athletics.
UAlbany softball continued their winning ways at home.

The University at Albany took both games from Cornell in an afternoon doubleheader on Wednesday April 15, with scores of 10-4 and 2-1 at Albany Field.

“I thought we hit really well in the first game,” said UAlbany head coach Chris Cannata. “We got into a bit of a situation in the second game where we left too many runners on base.”

Freshman pitcher Devin Durando (10-2) got the start on the mound for the Great Danes. She pitched seven full innings while allowing six hits, four runs and striking out four.

UAlbany got an early jump in the bottom of the first inning when Alexa Toole was walked, followed by a double to left field by Maggie Cocks, which brought in a run. Elizabeth Snow hit a hard groundball single that went into left field to score Cocks and put UAlbany at 2-0.

In the bottom of the second inning, Jess Tate hit a single to the outfield. Vicky McFarland added a deep line drive double to left field to score Tate, which put UAlbany ahead 3-0.

Snow increased the Great Danes lead at 4-0 in the bottom of the third when she blasted a solo homerun over the left-center field wall.

In the top of the fourth, Cornell rallied hitting three straight singles. With the bases loaded, Taylor Goodin hit a two-run double, followed by Chloe Pendergast’s two-run double. The Big Red’s five hits and four runs put the score at 4-4.

In the bottom of the fourth with walks drawn by both Lindsay Haskell and Toole, Cocks got a base hit, giving the Danes bases loaded. Snow followed with a hard grounder through shortstop and third, bringing in two runners. UAlbany increased the lead to 6-3.

The Danes secured the game in the bottom of the fifth when Kayla Bailey led off with a bunt down the third base line. Samantha Broking followed with a single to left. McFarland reached base by a fielder’s choice then Toole hit a double to left center, scoring two. Cocks followed with a moon shot home run over the left field scoreboard, securing UAlbany’s 10-4 victory.

Offensively, UAlbany was led by Snow who went 3-3 with four RBIs and a run scored, Cocks was 3-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored, and Broking who was 2-2.

Cornell pitcher Sierra Stone (1-6) took the loss. She tossed 3.1 innings allowing eight hits and six runs. Katie Carmichael threw the final 2.2 innings and allowed five hits and four runs.

Game two had a slower start. Both teams were scoreless until the bottom of the third when McFarland led off with a single to center. Toole followed with a double, scoring McFarland, which put UAlbany up 1-0.

In the top of the seventh, Cornell’s Meg Parker reached first on a bunt. Jessica Bigbie then hit a deep fly ball to centerfield, putting runners on first and second. Leanne Iannucci followed by popping up to center, helping Parker tag up and tie the game.

The Great Danes couldn’t put up a run in the bottom of the seventh, sending the game into extra innings.

In the bottom of the eighth, Costello started on second base. Mackenzie Cleary laid down a bunt, moving Costello to third. Caitlin Cooper then hit a sac fly to the outfield, helping Costello tag up and score the winning run.

“We had opportunities to score and break the game open and we didn’t take advantage of it,” said Cannata. “We had a little defensive miscommunication in the seventh to let them tie it but we played well and produced a run in the bottom of the eighth.”

“We have to work on our defense a little more but we’re getting there and getting to the place we want to be,” said Cocks. “We just want to keep getting better and get to the championship.”

McFarland led the Danes offensively going 2-4 with one run scored.

Durando got her second win of the day pitching the last 3.2 innings. She gave up two hits and one run. Mackenzie Thompson was the Danes starter, tossing the first 2.2 scoreless innings followed by reliever Nicole Parks who threw 1.2 innings, giving up one hit.

Cornell pitcher Maddie Orcutt (6-9) took the loss, pitching all eight innings

The Great Danes are now 21-10 on the season and 4-2 in the America East. They will take on conference rival Binghamton University (13-14, 4-3 AE) in a three-game series this weekend in Vestal, N.Y.

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