April 30, 2016
Dragons’ top seed secured in sweep
ONEONTA — All SUNY Cortland needed was a single softball win this weekend to wrap up the regular season title.
The Red Dragons got that accomplished and more Friday, capturing 9-7 and 9-5 wins over host Oneonta to earn the right to host the six-team SUNY Athletic Conference playoffs that are scheduled to start this coming Thursday.
The second game was called due to darkness with Cortland batting in the top of the seventh after scoring twice, and those stats count since they didn’t affect which team won the game.
Now 15-1 in the conference and 29-9 overall, Cortland concludes the regular season with a doubleheader today at New Paltz that got underway at noon.
Cortland 9, Oneonta 7: Cortland scored four times in the top of the sixth to take a 9-4 lead, then held on as Oneonta scored three times in the bottom of the seventh and had the potential winning run at the plate.
The teams combined for 28 hits — 16 for Cortland and 12 for Oneonta. Jamie Bucci and Niki Barbato each finished 3-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Bucci had a double and also drew a walk, while Barbato tripled and doubled to finish a homer shy of hitting for the cycle.
All nine Cortland starters recorded at least one hit, as Kaleigh Churchill, Skyler Hoyt and Stephanie Tirone each finished 2-for-4.
Cortland’s four-run sixth started with back-to-back doubles by Hoyt and Tirone, a Bucci walk and a Diane Cork sacrifice bunt. Barbato greeted Oneonta reliever Amanda Graziano with a two-run triple, and she scored two batters later on a Mikayla Shade single.
Oneonta’s seventh-inning threat began with an error and a one-out Katie O’Gorman walk. After a passed ball moved the runners ahead, Dana DelGenio hit a two-run single to pull the hosts within 9-6.
Singles by Jennifer Brocco and Selena Ruiz loaded the bases with one out. Alyssa Garrison followed with a fielder’s choice grounder that drove in DelGenio while forcing out Ruiz at second. Cortland attempted to complete the double play but Garrison was safe and the ball trickled away. Brocco tried to score and was thrown out at home to end the game.
Oneonta was led by Brocco, who went 3-for-4 with two doubles.
Cortland’s Sam Van Dorn earned the win in relief and improved to 6-1.
Cortland 9, Oneonta 5: Cortland rang up 10 hits in the nightcap, led by Erin Wolstenholme going 3-for-3 with a double and four RBIs.
Barbato was 2-for-3 with a double and three RBIs, while Bucci finished 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored.
Barbato was a combined 5-for-6 with a triple, two doubles and five RBI and Bucci went a combined 5-for-7 with two doubles, a walk, two RBI and four runs in the twin bill.
Alexandrea Flint (12-3) went the distance on the mound for Cortland. She gave up five runs over six innings, three earned, on eight hits with one walk and one strikeout. Oneonta’s Graziano went the distance as well and gave up nine runs, seven earned, on 10 hits with three strikeouts and one walk.
Oneonts was within 7-5 when Cortland opened the seventh with a Barbato single. After she was forced at second, the next batter reached on an error. With two outs and runners on second and third, Wolstenholme hit a shot past the third baseman for a two-run single.
At that point the umpires ruled that playing conditions were too dark and the game was called.
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