March 16, 2011


Dragons rally for two wins

CLERMONT, FLA. – SUNY Cortland overcame deficits in two contests Tuesday as the nationally 13th-ranked Red Dragons defeated Transylvania University of Kentucky, 5-3, and Lawrence University of Wisconsin, 7-3, at the National Training Center Spring Games.
Cortland improves to 4-2 with the victories and will play twice Thursday and twice Friday to complete its 10-game Florida trip.
Cortland 5, Transylvania 3: Transylvania broke a scoreless tie with three runs in the top of the sixth inning, but Cortland answered with five runs in the bottom of the sixth and held on for the victory. Junior Abby Martin pitched a complete game for her first win as a Red Dragon. She allowed six hits and three runs, struck out seven and walked four. Olivia Wall, who relieved Kaitlyn Foree in the sixth inning, suffered the loss for the Pioneers (1-7-1).Transylvania had runners on first and second with one out in the sixth when Cortland elected to intentionally walk Megan Mitchell, who hit 17 home runs last season, to load the bases. The strategy almost paid off when the next batter hit into a fielder’s choice that resulted in a force out at home, but Bethany Evans followed with a three-run double to right center to give the Pioneers a 3-0 lead.
In the bottom of the sixth, senior Donnalyn Cross hit a leadoff solo homer to start Cortland’s winning rally. Sophomore Lucia Meola doubled and advanced to third on an error, Martin walked and Meola scored when she beat the play home on Jessica Harman’s squeeze bunt.
Lorraine Stoddard walked to load the bases and, with one out, sophomore Cassie Kardias singled to left to tie the game. A Katie Fusco sacrifice fly gave Cortland the lead and Brooke Weidman’s single to left drove in the final run.
Kardias finished 2-for-2 with a walk and Cross was 2-for-4 to account for four of Cortland’s six hits.
Cortland 7, Lawrence 3: Junior Lyndsay Rowell posted the victory over Lawrence with six innings of one-hit ball. She struck out four, walked one and gave up two unearned runs. Sophomore Morgan Kuhn allowed a run and struck out two in the seventh.
Martin and freshman Alicia Hibbard each hit solo homers and freshman Meaghan Kohlerfinished 2-for-2 with two doubles for the Red Dragons. Martin also reached on a walk and a hit-by-pitch among her four plate appearances.
Shannon Murray took the loss for Lawrence (1-1) after allowing seven hits and five runs in six innings. She walked two and struck out one.
Cortland took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on Martin’s solo homer to center. The Vikings responded with two runs in the bottom of the first. The first batter reached on an error, and an error on an ensuing sacrifice bunt allowed the run to score. The second run scored on a Carli Gurholt RBI groundout.
Cortland knotted the game in the second when Kohler doubled, went to third on a fly out and scored on a wild pitch. The Red Dragons took the lead in the fifth on Hibbard’s homer to left. In the sixth, Stoddard and freshman Briana Barca each singled and advanced on a wild pitch. Freshman Beth Lamison drove in a run with a pinch-hit single, and another run scored on the play when Lamison intentionally got into a rundown between first and second.
The lead grew to 7-2 in the seventh with a two-out, two-run rally. Martin was hit by a pitch and pinch runner Charlotte Freed scored on Harman’s RBI double down the left field line. Harman took third on the throw and scored on a Tara Donnino RBI single.
Lawrence scored its final run when Gurholt doubled and scored on a one-out Emily Perish single.
Second baseman Cross has been selected as the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) softball Player of the Week for the week ending March 13.
Cross went 5-for-6 with two triples, three RBI, a walk and three stolen bases in Cortland’s first two games of the season Sunday at the National Training Center Spring Games in Clermont, Fla. She was 3-for-3 with a triple, RBI and steal in a 12-0, five-inning win over Westfield State. She followed that performance by going 2-for-3 with a triple, two RBI, walk and two steals in a 6-5 extra-inning victory over Rhode Island College.
Cross was a first-team All-America selection each of the last two years. She has 34 career triples, including the two this season, and is seven shy of tying the NCAA Div. III record in that category.


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