Softball advances to AE final with pair of wins Friday
May 10, 2013
Vestal, N.Y. - With its back against the wall, the Stony Brook softball team refused to lose on Friday at the America East Tournament, defeating No. 3 Hartford and No. 2 Binghamton to advance to the title matchup against No. 1 Albany. The Seawolves must now beat the Great Danes twice to win the conference crown. First pitch Saturday is set for 12 p.m.
"I'm really proud of this team. It was a great effort today with great energy. We had our backs against the wall and we responded really well. I think the big difference today was our timely hitting. We were able to string hits together and have some big innings and keep the momentum going. Our pitching was also fantastic today."
--Head Coach Megan Bryant
Stony Brook 6, Hartford 3
In a must-win game, Stony Brook (33-23) came out with an impressive effort to stave off elimination and send the Hawks home. The Seawolves scored five runs in the fourth inning to break a 1-1 tie, using four hits, including a two-run homer by sophomore Shayla Giosia (Runnemede, N.J.), and three Hartford errors to blow it open.
Junior Christine Lucido (Melville, N.Y.) gave Stony Brook a strong effort in the circle, allowing two earned runs in six innings to improve to 12-2 on the year. Sophomore Allison Cukrov (Irvine, Calif.) then entered the game in the seventh and picked up her fifth save with a 1-2-3 inning.
Hartford pitcher Zuzana Kudernatschova, who beat Stony Brook twice during the regular season, was roughed up to the tune of six earned runs on seven hits.
Stony Brook 9, Binghamton 0
After knocking out Hartford, Stony Brook took the field in another elimination game, this time against tournament host Binghamton (30-17), who had lost earlier in the day to top-seed Albany. Once again, the Seawolves put forth a determined effort with a dominant performance from Cukrov in the circle and a huge day at the plate.
The Seawolves pushed across five runs in the top of the first to stun the hosts and their home crowd. The big hit in the inning was a two-out, bases-clearing triple by senior Gina Bianculli (Oakdale, N.Y.), who had two hits and a pair of runs in the game.
Stony Brook added to its lead in the fourth with four more runs, including three off the bat of junior Olivia Mintun (Neoga, Ill.), who crushed her first home run of the season with a pair of runners aboard.
Cukrov dominated the whole way, allowing just one hit, a bloop single with two outs in the fourth. The sophomore hurler struck out two to pick up her 13th victory of the season.
Binghamton pitcher Demi Laney, a first-team All-Conference selection, was tagged for eight runs, three earned, on five hits. The Bearcats' defense did Laney no favors with three errors as the Seawolves' relentless attack appeared to rattle the tournament's No. 2 seed from the outset.
The Numbers Game
• Stony Brook outhit Hartford by a 7-6 count.
News & Notes
• Stony Brook will be making its fourth appearance in the America East final and first since 2010.
Stony Brook will vie for the America East title on Saturday in a rematch against No. 1 Albany. The Seawolves must beat the Great Danes twice in order to win the conference crown. The winner of the America East Championship will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.