Softball shuts down Albany to earn Saturday sweep
May 5, 2012
SUNDAY LIVE: STATS
Stony Brook, N.Y. - Freshman Allison Cukrov (Irvine, Calif.) tied a single-season program record with her 24th victory of the year as the Stony Brook softball team beat Albany 5-2 and 3-1 on Saturday at University Field. The teams will wrap up the weekend series on Sunday at noon; prior to the game, Stony Brook will honor the four seniors who will be playing in their final regular season home game.
Cukrov pitched both games on Saturday and allowed just seven total hits, while striking out nine batters. With the victory in the second game, Cukrov tied Alyssa Struzenberg's single-season program record with 24 wins, which was accomplished in 2008.
On a day with huge implications in the conference standings, Stony Brook held its ground in first place thanks to the arm of Cukrov, some terrific defense and timely hitting.
The Seawolves (35-14-1, 14-2-1 America East) scored first in the opener when senior Bernadette Tenuto (Audubon, N.J.) launched a solo home run off the scoreboard in left field to make it 1-0 in the second.
Stony Brook then jumped all over Albany starter Brittany MacFawn (17-5) in the third, plating four more runs to open up the scoreline. Sophomore Jessica Combs (Hammonton, N.J.) and freshman Lauren Kamachi (Surrey, British Columbia) recorded back-to-back bases loaded hits to make it 4-0, before sophomore Nicole Schieferstein (Seaford, N.Y.) squeezed home the fifth run on a bunt.
Cukrov did not allow a hit until the fifth inning when Albany's Kylie Apostolina drove the ball over the left-centerfield fence for a solo home run. Two batters later, Alexa Toole reached out and drove another solo shot to right-center to cut the deficit to 5-2.
Albany (33-12, 12-5 America East) threatened to get closer in the seventh when the Great Danes loaded the bases with one out. But Cukrov responded with back-to-back strikeouts to close the game and secure the 5-2 win.
In the second game, Albany grabbed the early lead when Charlise Castro recorded her 50th RBI of the season with a single up the middle to make it 1-0.
The advantage stuck until the fifth inning when Stony Brook's bats came to life. Tenuto and Combs got the rally started with back-to-back singles, the first hits of the game off game two starter Brittany Schwieger. Schwieger promptly buckled down by inducing a pop-up and a strikeout, but on strike three, the ball bounced away from the catcher Apostolina and allowed the runners to move up with senior Suzanne Karath (Fishkill, N.Y.) coming to bat.
Schwieger made a good pitch to Karath, forcing the senior to chop the ball routinely to short for what would have been the third out. However, the shortstop Toole misplayed the ball, allowing Tenuto to score and Combs to advance to third. Karath then swiped second base to give Stony Brook two runners in scoring position for senior Alyssa Hawley (Spokane, Wash.).
With the infield drawn in, looking for a potential squeeze play, Hawley took Schwieger's offering and drove it into centerfield for a two-run single that gave the Seawolves a 3-1 advantage.
Both teams had just three hits in the second game and all four runs in the contest were unearned.
Stony Brook's win in game two ended Albany's hopes for the regular season title; the Great Danes will finish third in the standings regardless of the result on Sunday by virtue of their two losses on Saturday and Boston University's win at UMBC. Stony Brook will win the regular season outright with a victory on Sunday or a Boston University loss (the Terriers play a doubleheader vs. the Retrievers tomorrow). Maine clinched the No. 4 seed with a pair of wins over Hartford, while Binghamton was eliminated in the process.
Sunday's game will also be Senior Day, during which Stony Brook will honor its four seniors: Karath, Tenuto, Hawley and Lauren Maloney (Las Vegas, Nev.).