April 2, 2016
Dragons rally late to sweep
Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
SUNY Cortland pitcher Alexandrea Flint (11) picks up a short Geneseo grounder for an out at first in the top of the sixth Friday at Dragons Field.
In dramatic fashion, the SUNY Cortland softball squad began a quest to repeat as conference champions with a Friday afternoon home diamond doubleheader sweep over Geneseo.
In a rematch of teams that tussled in last year’s SUNY Athletic Conference championship playoff game, the Red Dragons won the opener 5-1 behind the five-hit pitching of Alexandrea Flint before staging a late-inning comeback to knock off the Knights 5-4 in the nightcap.
Shortstop Erin Wolstenholme tied the second game at 4-4 by belting a three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning, setting the stage for Kaleigh Churchill’s game-wining RBI single in the bottom of the seventh.
Cortland improved to 13-3 overall in this conference debut, and is slated to host Brockport in a SUNYAC twin bill today starting at noon back at Dragons Field. Geneseo is now 5-9 overall, 0-2 in the conference.
Cortland 5, Geneseo 1: Flynn (1-0) fell behind 1-0 on a Danni Napoli solo homer in the top of the second, but held the Knights scoreless the rest of the way to win the opener. She had one strikeout and did not walk a batter.
The Red Dragons moved ahead with a three-run third inning, a rally started by Jamie Bucci and Andrea Schoonmaker singles. Diane Cork’s base hit down the left field line drove home Bucci, and two batters later Niki Barbato hit a two-run double to left center.
The Red Dragons added two runs in the fourth. Wolstenholme led off with a double and went to third on a one-out bunt single by Rosie Phillips. Pinch-hitter Skyler Hoyt singled to right center to drive in Wolstenholme. An error on the play allowed Phillips to score from first.
Geneseo had opened the top of the fourth with singles by Cat Krok and Napoli, but the next batter popped up to short and Napoli was doubled up at first. A flyout ended the inning. The Knights’ lone baserunner the rest of the game came on a two-out double by Krok in the sixth.
Bucci and Phillips each finished 2-for-3 for Cortland. Krok and Napoli each went 2-for-3 for Geneseo.
Cortland 5, Geneseo 4: Cortland trailed 4-0 entering the bottom of the sixth before rallying to tie the game.
With one out, Churchill doubled to right center and went to third on a Barbato single up the middle. Mikayla Shade followed with an RBI single to left, and Wolstenholme ripped the first pitch she saw over the fence in the left center for the tying home run.
In the bottom of the seventh, Bucci led off with a single down the right field line and was sacrificed to second by Schoonmaker. Geneseo pitcher Alexis Kidder, who entered in relief in the sixth, struck out the next batter for the second out, but Churchill ended the game with an RBI single to right.
Geneseo used four base hits and a Cortland error to score three times in the first, a rally capped by a Jenna Phillips RBI single up the middle. The Red Dragons had to turn a double play to escape second inning trouble, but fell behind 4-0 in the Geneseo fifth when Anna Merante singled, swiped second and scored on Claire VanNewkirk’s two-out single.
Cortland’s Sam Van Dorn relieved starting pitcher Jamie Lachall in the third and earned her second win of theseason. She gave up only three hits and two walks, struck out one and allowed one run in five innings.
Churchill led the Cortland offense by going 3-for-4, while Shade was 2-for-3 and Bucci 2-for-4.
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