Softball drops pair of games to open FAU Invitational

Senior Gina Bianculli

March 8, 2013

Box Score

Boca Raton, Fla. - The Stony Brook softball team dropped its first two games of the FAU Invitational, falling 5-4 to Eastern Michigan and 5-2 to Ball State Friday in Boca Raton, Fla.

Game One

In the tournament opener against Eastern Michigan (6-7), the Seawolves (6-11) erased a 4-0 deficit to force extra innings, but could not complete the comeback in an eight-inning defeat. Three Seawolves had multi-hit games, including senior Gina Bianculli (Oakdale, N.Y.), who went 2-for-3 with a clutch two-RBI double in the sixth.

The Eagles pulled ahead 2-0 in the first, capitalizing on three Stony Brook errors and a passed ball. Eastern Michigan then added runs in the third and sixth to take a 4-0 lead, before the Seawolves battled back.

With runners on first and second and two outs, Bianculli doubled into the left-centerfield gap to cut the deficit to 4-2. Junior Jessica Combs (Hammonton, N.J.) then followed with another double to score Bianculli as the Seawolves pulled within one.

In the bottom of the seventh, down to its last out, Stony Brook again received a clutch hit, this time from redshirt junior Jessica Zeilman (Newfield, N.J.), who singled in the tying run to force extra innings. With tournament tie-breaking rules in effect, Eastern Michigan started the eighth with a runner on second and quickly plated the go-ahead run on a one-out single. Stony Brook was then unable to plate its leadoff runner in the bottom of the frame and the game ended 5-4 in EMU's favor.

Freshman Jane Sallen, competing just 20 minutes from her home town of Lake Worth, Fla., pitched very well, allowing just two earned runs in eight innings, while scattering four hits.



Game Two

In the second game of the day, Stony Brook struck first against Ball State (9-8) on another RBI single by Zeilman in the top of the first.

The Cardinals answered in the third, however, plating three runs off Stony Brook starter Christine Lucido (Melville, N.Y.), using three hits and a Seawolves error to go up 3-1.

Trailing 4-1 in the top of the fifth, junior Olivia Mintun (Neoga, Ill.) delivered a one-out single to bring Stony Brook within two, but the Seawolves could do no further damage and stranded two baserunners.

Ball State then added another insurance tally in the sixth courtesy of a solo homer off reliever Allison Cukrov (Irvine, Calif.), who allowed three hits in 2.2 innings of work. Sophomore Shayla Giosia (Runnemede, N.J.) paced the Seawolves with two hits and a run scored at the plate.

The Numbers Game

• Stony Brook outhit its opponents in both games, posting a 9-4 hit advantage against EMU and a 10-7 mark against Ball State.
• Giosia, Zeilman and Combs each had three hits Friday.

News and Notes

• Lucido suffered her first loss of the season Friday after winning her first four decisions.
• Stony Brook stole two bases against Ball State; prior to that game, the Seawolves had stolen two bases all season.

Up Next

The Seawolves will battle tournament host Florida Atlantic on Saturday at 8 p.m.