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Softball ends six-game losing streak with win over Oswego

by Paul Cifonelli - Staff Writer
Tue, Apr 16th 2019 10:00 pm
Freshman infielder Molly Ryan looks back at the bench in disbelief after she's called out.
Freshman infielder Molly Ryan looks back at the bench in disbelief after she's called out.
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Losing streaks are a part of sports, but The College at Brockport softball team has endured a rather painful one during the last week. Losing games in blowout fashion would be a cause for concern, but Brockport has avoided those types of games. Instead, the Golden Eagles have lost games that they feel they should have won.

Finishing on the wrong end of a tight game has become a theme for the Golden Eagles. Seven of the team’s past eight losses have come by three runs or less. The close losses have been more catastrophic as the season goes on because a majority of those losses have been against competing SUNYAC opponents. This past week Brockport took on one non-league opponent, Nazareth College, and one league foe, Oswego. 

Action began with a home doubleheader against Nazareth on Wednesday, April 10. The game was filled with lots of offense early on, with junior outfielder Casey Danko blasting a three-run home run in the bottom of the first. After the Golden Flyers struck for two runs in the top of the second, junior infielder Meghan Cullen drove in a run to extend the lead. Nazareth answered with four runs in the top of the third to make the score 6-4 in favor of the Golden Flyers. 

Scoring resumed in the bottom of the fourth when Brockport regained the lead. Junior outfielder Alexis Ross, Cullen and Danko all drove in one run in the frame to give the Golden Eagles a 7-6 advantage. That was the rest of the Golden Eagles’ offense for the game, but Nazareth was not done. It tacked on one run in the fifth and two in the sixth to secure a 9-7 win.

Game two was a continuation of the first for Brockport. Nazareth’s offense was not great but scored in spurts. It piled up three runs in the third inning, two in the fifth and one in the seventh. Brockport’s offense, which stayed stagnant throughout the game, eventually came to life in the bottom of the seventh, but couldn’t reach Nazareth’s lead. Junior infielder Machala Andrews drove in a single run with the bases loaded to avoid the shutout in a 6-1 defeat. With it, Brockport walked away with its largest loss since the first game of the season.

The second doubleheader against Oswego had more meaning because it represented a chance for Brockport to improve its position in the standings. Entering the games, the Golden Eagles were 1—5 in SUNYAC play. That record left them on the outside looking in for the SUNYAC tournament.

The first game against Oswego was anything but a pitcher’s duel. Oswego jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead after its turn to bat in the second. Brockport scored one in the bottom half of the second, then the teams began trading runs. Oswego scored two runs in the third inning then two more in the fourth, while the Golden Eagles scored one in the third and three in the fifth. After five innings, the Lakers held an 8-5 lead. Oswego increased its lead with three runs in the top of the sixth. Showing resilience, Brockport did not go down easy, scoring two more in the bottom of the sixth and three in the seventh. Oswego pushed one more across in the seventh and the end result fell in favor of the Lakers, 12-10. When all was said and done, six different players drove in at least one run for Brockport.

During the game, freshman Cheyenne Wilson was one of the Brockport pitchers to get roughed up by Oswego’s offense. She pitched well against Nazareth, throwing 3.2 innings and only allowing one run over the two games. However, she allowed seven runs in five innings against Oswego. She reflected on the mindset she needs to keep in order to shake off rough outings.

“I realize that I won’t be able to pitch phenomenal every time and that after a rough game I just need to practice harder and reflect on what I can do better the next game to help my team get the win,” Wilson said.

The second game against Oswego was much more favorable for Brockport. The teams exchanged runs in the first inning, with junior infielder Alison Missavage driving in her 12th run of the year. Oswego scored another run in the top of the third, but junior infielder Jessica Koneski’s solo home run tied the game up. The Golden Eagles broke the game open in the fifth inning when Missavage, senior infielder Morgan Flamholtz, freshman infielder Cami Duggan and freshman catcher Mandi Lucas all drove in runs. After the breakout inning, Brockport led 8-2. Three runs from Oswego in the top of the seventh would not be enough as the Golden Eagles snapped its losing streak with an 8-5 win.

Despite being a freshman, Duggan knows how valuable the league games are, especially once the season begins to wind down.

“Playing in this league, there is always the feeling of needing to win in order to reach SUNYACs,” Duggan said. “Our team has definitely come together on and off the field, making it more possible of reaching our goal at the end of each game. I think all we needed was a little confidence. We all have one goal and that’s to win a championship.”

Brockport will have two doubleheaders this week. On Wednesday, April 17, Brockport hosts the University of Rochester. The Golden Eagles take a trip to Geneseo on Saturday, April 20, for SUNYAC games.