April 01, 2009


Red hot Dragons humble Hawks

DragonsBob Ellis/staff photographer
Donnalyn Cross of SUNY Cortland slides headfirst across home plate as she beats the throw to New Paltz catcher Dale Cornelius to score Cortland’s first run in a 3-1 victory that started Tuesday’s doubleheader sweep at Dragon Field.

At least there would be a little consolation for Rose Dovi.
Back in her home town to face this SUNY Cortland softball juggernaut Tuesday afternoon, the New Paltz outfielder did manage to spoil a no-hit bid by Red Dragons pitcher Katie Finch in the opening game of Tuesday’s conference twin bill.
That was one of the few highlights for New Paltz, however, as hurlers Finch and Lyndsay Rowell proved to be a stingy pair leading Cortland to a couple of victories that increased the current Red Dragon winning streak to 17 consecutive games.
Junior Finch allowed a lone hit — a second inning single by centerfielder Dovi — and struck out eight batters as the Red Dragons won the opening game 3-1 to get their SUNY Athletic Conference season underway.
Freshman Rowell followed with a four-hit pitching performance as Cortland completed the sweep with an 8-1 victory that improved the Red Dragons record to sparkling 17-1 overall. Coach Julie Lenhart’s squad, ranked 10th nationally, has not stumbled since a season-opening loss to fourth ranked Emory College during spring break in Florida.
New Paltz falls to 1-5 in the SUNYAC standings and 9-11 overall. Junior Dovi was 1-for-3 in the opening game and 0-for-2 in the nightcap, the former Cortland High and Tompkins Cortland Community College standout now hitting .333 (19-for-57) in her first season with the Hawks.
Cortland 3, New Paltz 1: Finch allowed just two baserunners and one unearned run while improving to 10-0 on the season.
Dovi had her second inning single and junior Elizabeth May reached on an error to lead off the fourth to be the lone base runners for the Hawks. May advanced to second on a passed ball and went to third on a Melyssa Cilmi sacrifice bunt. Samantha Barra then grounded out to Finch. May took off on Finch’s throw to first and slid around the tag at the plate to tie the game at 1-1.
Cortland had scored the game’s first run in the the bottom of the first inning in similar fashion. Sophomore Donnalyn Cross off with a single and went to second on a Crystal Carlson sacrifice. Cross then stole third and scored on an Emily Ringen groundout to short. Cross also took off after the throw was made to first and beat the subsequent throw home.
The Red Dragons broke the 1-1 tie with two runs in the fifth. Sophomore Brooke Weidman walked and advanced to third on a pair of groundouts. Cross, who finished the game 2-for-3, tripled to the base of the fence in center field to drive in Weidman. Carlson followed with an RBI single to left.
Pitcher Courtney Costello suffered the loss for New Paltz despite allowing only four hits and a walk over five innings.
Cortland 8, New Paltz 1: New Paltz struck first in the second game with a run in the top of the first inning. Cilmi was hit by a pitch, moved to second on a one-out groundout and scored on a Barra single to left center. Barra and Dale Cornelius each finished 2-for-3 to account for all four of the Hawks’ hits.
Cortland went ahead to stay with two runs in the bottom of the first. Cross singled and was bunted to second by Carlson. Cross then stole third and scored on a Jessica Harman two-out single to right. An error on a fly ball hit by Katie Fusco scored Harman from first with the second run.
The Red Dragons broke open the game with five runs in the fourth.
Rowell drew a walk and Bethany Williamson doubled to move runner Cait Carner to third. A Sammi Dieffenbach fielder’s choice grounder score Carner, with a wild throw on the play allowing Dieffenbach to take second. Cross grounded out to short to drive in a run, followed by a Carlson RBI single, a Ringen RBI double and a Harman run-scoring single.
Cortland’s last run came in the sixth when Weidman reached on a bunt single, stole second and eventually scored from third on a Carlson double.
Harman finished 3-for-4 and Carlson 2-for-3, each driving in two runs. Ringen went 2-for-4 with an RBI. Rowell struck out four and walked two in the complete game victory and is 5-1 on the season.
The Red Dragons are at Morrisville Friday for a conference doubleheader on Friday.
FINCH HONORS: Pitcher Finch was selected the SUNYAC Softball Pitcher of the Week for the week ending March 29. Finch earns the honor for the second time this season.
Finch recorded a win and a save in Cortland’s home doubleheader sweep versus nationally 23rd-ranked Ithaca College at home last Wednesday. She threw a four-hit shutout in a 2-0 victory in the opener, then pitched a hitless seventh inning with two strikeouts to preserve a 3-2 win in the nightcap.

Cortland 3, New Paltz 1
By innings: R H E
New Paltz 000 100 0 — 1 1 2
SUNY Corltand 100 020 x — 3 5 1
New Paltz- Courtney Costello (L, 4-4), Alyssa Oliva (6) and Dale Cornelius. Cortland- Katie Finch (W, 10-0) and Sammi Dieffenbach
3bh- Donnalyn Cross (C)

Cortland 8, New Paltz 1
By innings: R H E
New Paltz 100 000 0 — 1 4 2
SUNY Cortland 200 501 x — 8 10 1
New Paltz- Devon Kelly (L, 3-5), Alyssa Oliva (4) and Jenna Curcio. Cortland- Lyndsay Rowell (W, 5-1) and Katie Fusco
2bh- Crystal Carlson (C), Emily Ringen (C), Bethany Williamson (C)