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Softball looks to finish strong despite playoff knockout

by Paul Cifonelli - Staff Writer
Tue, Apr 23rd 2019 03:00 pm
Freshman middle infielder Cami Duggan takes a practice swing outside of the batter's box during one of her plate appearances.
Freshman middle infielder Cami Duggan takes a practice swing outside of the batter's box during one of her plate appearances.

The College at Brockport softball team officially has its backs up against the wall this season. Since the slide began, the Golden Eagles have struggled in many different ways. Originally, Brockport could not get over the slew of close losses that ruined the team’s start to league play.

Recently, the games have been getting more and more lopsided for the Golden Eagles. The pitching has regressed, the offense has become less potent and errors have become more pronounced than normal.

Brockport’s inability to score and prevent runs through the long losing streak was a major factor in its elimination from postseason play. Senior infielder Morgan Flamholtz feels that, despite her team’s low ranking, they are not feeling any added sense of urgency during the games.

“I wouldn’t say there is a sense of urgency, but we want to finish strong,” Flamholtz said. “Postseason or not, we want to pick up a few more wins for us and to even be a pain for other teams making the postseason. We are a strong team and have the ability to compete with high caliber teams.”

This past week’s games against Cortland and Geneseo eliminated the Golden Eagles from postseason play. On Wednesday, April 17, Cortland visited Brockport and took both games of the doubleheader. When Brockport went to Geneseo on Saturday, April 20, the result was very similar to three days before.

Cortland came out and dominated the Golden Eagles early. The Red Dragons jumped out to a 3-0 lead after two innings and increased it to 6-0 after the top of the fourth. Brockport answered in the bottom of the fourth with three runs to cut the lead in half. Junior infielder Allison Missavage, freshman catcher Molly Ryan and freshman infielder Cameryn Duggan all drove in runs for the Golden Eagles during the frame. Cortland responded with three more runs in the top of the fifth, one in the sixth and one in the seventh inning. Junior infielder Meghan Cullen was able to score the final run in the seventh inning on a Cortland error, but, the Red Dragons took the first game by a score of 11-4.

The second game against Cortland appeared to be a pitcher’s duel through the first few innings. Sophomore Julia Palopoli shut Cortland out for the first three innings but ran into trouble in the fourth. She allowed two solo home runs in the inning to give the Red Dragons a 2-0 advantage. Cortland got to Palopoli again in the sixth inning, this time for four runs. Brockport got on the board in the bottom of the sixth when sophomore infielder Kacie Hubbard hit her second home run of the year, this time with a solo shot. After another Cortland run in the top of the seventh, the Golden Eagles struck for two more. Missavage hit a sacrifice fly that scored junior outfielder Casey Danko and junior outfielder Lexi Abernathy crossed the plate on an error on the same play. Cortland swept the series by winning the second game 7-3.

Geneseo’s offense was able to do slightly more damage than Cortland against the Golden Eagles. During the first game, Brockport once again faced an early deficit. Geneseo scored two runs in each of the first two innings, but Brockport was able to score one in the top of the second. Missavage continued her personal hot streak by driving in Hubbard on a double to left center. Brockport was able to push across two more runs in the top of the third, with Danko and junior infielder Jessica Koneski driving in the runs. The back-and-forth game continued when the Knights scored two more in the fourth to make the score 6-3. Brockport chipped at the lead in the top of the fifth after Koneski drove in two baserunners. Geneseo answered by scoring four runs in the bottom half of the inning. Cullen drove in a run in the top of the seventh, but Brockport was unable to escape defeat again, this time by a score of 10-6.

The final game of the week was arguably the worst for the Golden Eagles. Geneseo opened the scoring with five runs in the third inning and would end up being all the Knights needed to win the game. The Golden Eagles struck for all three of its runs in the top of the fourth as Koneski drove in one run on a double and Missavage plated the other two with a triple. The next half inning, Geneseo tacked on four more runs and shut down the possible green and gold comeback. The last of the damage was done by the Knights in the fifth inning, when they added one more run as Brockport dropped its final game of the week, 10-3.

With Brockport officially being eliminated from the playoffs, the team can begin to look ahead toward next season. Cullen feels as though the team’s struggles this year will contribute to a more successful season next year. 

“We have learned that we need to fight back from this season and be stronger next year and work as hard as we can,” Cullen said. “We’ve learned how to push through adversity.”

The Golden Eagles will conclude their regular season this week with three doubleheaders. Brockport hosts St. John Fisher on Wednesday, April 24. On Friday, April 26, Brockport welcomes Potsdam, while Plattsburgh makes the trek to Bob Boozer Field on Saturday, April 27.