April 11, 2009
Finch queen of Ks
Whiffs record 19 Bengals as Red Dragons sweep
To remain unbeaten in conference play, SUNY Cortland first needed some opening game softball heroics from junior pitcher Katie Finch and sophomore Katie Fusco on Friday afternoon.
The Red Dragons opened this SUNY Athletic Conference doubleheader against visiting Buffalo State by pulling out a 3-2 victory over the Bengals in a 10-inning classic, as Finch broke a school record with 19 strikeouts before Fusco delivered the game-winning RBI single.
The momentum from that triumph carried over into a 6-1 victory for Cortland in the second contest at Dragon Field, as this Cortland squad ranked ninth nationally in Division III improved to 6-0 in conference play and 22-2 overall. Buffalo State fell to 4-4 in the SUNYAC standings and is 12-8 overall.
The Red Dragons host Fredonia this afternoon at 1 p.m. in another conference twin bill, with Oneonta coming to town Monday in a 3 p.m. doubleheader moved up a day in the schedule due to worries about the forecast of inclement weather.
Cortland 3, Buffalo State 2, 10 innings: Finch broke the school record of 16 strikeouts set by Stephanie Adamshick against SUNYIT in 2006. The junior’s previous career high was 15 strikeouts, which she achieved on two occasions.
The Cortland ace reached the 15-strikeout mark through seven innings against Buffalo State batters, then fanned one batter in the eighth, two in the ninth and one more in the 10th. Finch finished with a five-hitter and improved to 12-1 on the year.
Pinch-hitter Fusco’s decisive RBI single in the bottom of the 10th settled a pitching duel between Finch and Nicole Sabuda for the Bengals, who finished with a four-hitter and allowed a lone earned run.
With this game deadlocked through the ninth frame, the NCAA tiebreaker rule which begins each inning with a baserunner at second base was put into play for the 10th inning. Buffalo State started the top of the 10th with a runner on second base and Aimee Fisher’s sacrifice bunt moved her to third. Finch induced a pop-up and then came up with her 19th strikeout to keep the Bengals off the board.
Pinch-runner Lexi Deming started on second base for Cortland in the bottom of the 10th, advanced to third on a Rose Morrison sacrifice bunt and scored when Fusco stroked a single into leftfield.
Cortland took a 1-0 lead on junior Sammi Dieffenbach’s first collegiate homer, a blast to left in the bottom of the second. The lead grew to 2-0 in the fourth on a two-out RBI single by freshman Jessica Harman.
Finch took a no-hitter into the fifth inning, but walked Marissa Mariano to lead off the inning and, two batters later, gave up a two-run homer to Kaylee Lekki just inside the left field foul pole that tied the game.
Cortland 6, Buffalo State 1: Buffalo State also used the long-ball to take a 1-0 lead in the second game, getting a solo home run by Mariano with two outs in the fourth inning.
The Red Dragons pulled even in the bottom of the inning. Harman reached on an error, went to second on a Fusco bunt single and scored on a two-out error on a grounder hit by Dieffenbach.
Freshman Lorraine Stoddard led off the fifth for Cortland with an infield single and pinch runner Deming moved to second on a Brooke Weidman sacrifice. Sophomore Donnalyn Cross hit a double to left to drive in the go-ahead run.
Cortland put the game away with four runs in the sixth. With two outs, Jackie Begnoche singled and Morrison reached on an error. Stoddard singled to left to load the bases, Weidman beat out a single to third to drive in a run and Cross drove in two runs with a single up the middle. The last run scored on an error two batters later.
Red Dragon freshman Lyndsay Rowell pitched five innings for her seventh win in eight decisions. She allowed four hits and struck out three. Junior Diana Perez entered in the sixth with Cortland up 2-1 and pitched the final two innings for the save. She gave up only one hit over the seven batters she faced.
Stoddard finished 2-for-3, Cross was 2-for-4 with three RBI and Fusco went 2-for-4. Mariano led Buffalo State with a 2-for-3 effort.
Homer Hurler Suffers Loss
In other SUNYAC play, former Homer Central standout Halee Riley was the losing pitcher in the second game for a Morrisville Mustangs squad that was swept by second place Brockport — the visiting Eagles winning 8-0 and 10-0 contests.
In the second game at Morrisville, Riley was reached for 12 hits and gave up eight earned runs. She struck out five batters for the Mustangs, who are 1-7 in the conference and 5-17 overall with Geneseo in town this afternoon.
Cortland 3, Buffalo State 2, 10 innings
By innings: R H E
Buffalo State 000 020 000 0 — 2 5 3
SUNY Cortland 010 100 000 1 — 3 4 0
Buffalo State- Nicole Sabuda (L, 4-2) and Marissa Mariano. Cortland- Katie Finch (W, 12-1) and Sammi Dieffenbach
HR- Kaylee Lekki (BSt), Sammi Dieffenbach (C)
Cortland 6, Buffalo State 1
By innings: R H E
Buffalo State 000 100 0 — 1 5 4
SUNY Cortland 000 114 x — 6 9 0
Buffalo State- Jenna Frieling (L, 4-5) and Marissa Mariano. Cortland- Lyndsay Rowell (W, 7-1), Diana Perez (6) (Save, 1) and Katie Fusco
2bh- Donnalyn Cross (C). HR- Marissa Mariano (BSt)
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