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April 22, 2010

 

Finch true perfectionist

Reds Dragons hurler tosses second perfect game in split

SoftballJoe McIntyre/staff photographer
SUNY Cortland’s Katie Finch delivers pitch during her perfect game against St. John Fisher.

It’s been a while now since someone has reached base against SUNY Cortland pitcher Katie Finch.
The senior from Amsterdam pitched her second perfect game of the past week on Wednesday afternoon as the Red Dragons defeated visiting St. John Fisher 8-0 in the opening game of a non-conference softball doubleheader.
Finch retired all 15 batters she faced in the opener called after five-innings under the eight-run mercy rule and has now retired 42 consecutive opponents in order over a four-game stretch. That includes a seven-inning perfect game thrown against defending SUNY Athletic Conference champion Buffalo State this past Friday.
St. John Fisher recovered from being held hit-less to take the nightcap 3-0 at Dragon Field, snapping Cortland’s 15-game unbeaten streak in the process. The Red Dragons were blanked despite collecting nine hits off winning pitcher Sarah Stefanon.
Cortland is now 26-6 on the season, while St. John Fisher left town with a 20-14 overall record.
Cortland 8, St. John Fisher 0: Finch struck out nine batters in the opener for her sixth career no-hitter and third perfect game. She is 16-2 this season with an 0.77 earned run average in 20 games.
Freshman Cassie Kardias drove in four runs while going 2-for-3 with a double to lead the Red Dragons, who did all of their scoring in the fourth and fifth innings. Junior Katie Fusco was 3-for-3 with a double, while freshman Lucia Meola went 2-for-4 and singled in the run that ended the game in the bottom of the fifth.
Kardias hit a two-run single and Donnalyn Cross added an infield RBI single in a three-run fourth inning. Cortland’s five-run fifth featured a Brooke Weidman run-scoring grounder, a Kardias two-run double and Meola’s walk-off RBI single.
St. John Fisher 3, Cortland 0: Stefanon improved to 6-5 despite allowing at least one baserunner in every inning. She got out of a second-and-third, one-out jams in both the second and third innings.
Cortland loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh on a Weidman infield single, a Fusco walk and a Cross single to center, but Stefanon induced a grounder to short for a force at home, followed by two infield pop-ups to end the game. Stefanon struck out three and walked two.
Leanne Merchant went 2-for-3 for the Cardinals with a two-out, two-run homer in the third inning. Fisher’s other run came on a bases-loaded fielder’s choice grounder by Megan Rogers in the second.
Cross finished 3-for-4, Jessica Harman 2-for-3 with a double and Emily Ringen 2-for-4 with a double for the Red Dragons, who left 10 runners on base. Starting pitcher Lyndsay Rowell gave up five hits and three runs, two earned, for the loss. She walked two and struck out three.
Cortland returns to conference play on Saturday, playing a twinbill at Oswego. On Sunday, the Red Dragons host Fredonia in a make-up doubleheader starting at noon.
— Finch was named the SUNYAC and ECAC Division III Upstate New York Pitcher of the Week for the week ending April 18. Finch went 3-0 in four appearances, two as a starter, during the week that included a perfect game against Buffalo State.
For the week, Finch allowed only four hits, three walks and one run and struck out 28 batters in 18 innings.