May 6, 2016
Dragons roll early, HR mark for Cork
Bob Ellis/staff photographer
SUNY Cortland teammates gather at homeplate to greet Diane Cork, right, who hit a home run against Buffalo State Thursday morning. SUNY Cortland won 8-0 as Cork set a school record with her 32nd career home run.
With Diane Cork setting a school home run record and pitcher Alexandrea Flint flirting with a no-hitter, SUNY Cortland opened up the conference softball playoffs in impressive fashion Thursday morning.
The top-seeded Red Dragons blanked sixth-seed Buffalo State 8-0 in the first of four games played at Dragon Field in this double-elimination tournament that resumed play this morning. The opener was halted in the bottom of the fifth under the eight-run mercy rule.
Outfielder Cork uncorked her school record 32nd home run as part of a 2-for-3 plate performance against Buffalo State, driving in five runs on the day.
Flint took a no-hitter into the top of the fifth before giving up back-to-back, one-out singles to the Bengals’ Danielle Szymkowiak and Cassandra O’Hearn. She finished with a two-hit shutout, walking one and striking out one, while improving her mound mark to 14-3.
In other opening games, Plattsburgh topped New Paltz 6-2, Geneseo rolled past Oneonta 9-1 and Buffalo State went 10 innings to beat New Paltz 6-4 in an elimination game.
Cortland (32-9) now faces fourth-seed Oneonta (22-16) to get things started this morning. Third-seed Geneseo and second-seed Plattsburgh square off at 11 a.m. and the rest of the day’s schedule depends on the outcome of the Cortland-Oneonta contest.
Cortland 8, Buffalo State 0, 5 innings: Cork opened the scoring with a two-run homer over the fence in left-center, that blast coming after Jamie Bucci had legged out an infield single. Cork’s 32 career homers eclipses the previous school mark of 31 set by Meaghan Kohler from 2011-14.
Kaleigh Churchill singled home a run in the third to up the lead to 3-0. After the Red Dragons loaded the bases with two outs in the fourth, and Cork cleared them with a three-run double to left center.
The Red Dragons put the mercy rule into play ending the game in the bottom of the fifth. Churchill upped the lead to 7-0 after opening up a double and coming around to score on a Mikayla Shade base hit and passed ball. With two outs, Rosie Phillips delivered a walk-off RBI single.
The Red Dragons finished with 11 hits overall. Bucci was 2-for-2 with three runs scored, while Churchill, Phillips and Shade were all 2-for-3.
Plattsburgh 6, New Paltz 2: Plattsburgh freshman Jennifer Groat snapped a 2-2 in the bottom of the fourth inning with a grand slam home run over the fence in right, capping a six-run rally by the second seeds. The Cardinals rookie tops her team with a .435 batting average after finishing 2-for-2.
Plattsburgh’s Morgan Anderson pitched into the sixth inning and earned the win, striking out five New Paltz batters, with Katie Pitkin taking over in the seventh and picking up a save.
A Danielle Bruno sacrifice fly and Nicole DeCosta single drive in both New Paltz runs in the top of the fourth.
Geneseo 9, Oneonta 1, 6, 6 innings: Emily Martin’s two-run homer finished off the Geneseo victory in the bottom of the sixth, as the third-seeded Knights improved to 24-15 overall heading into today’s game with Plattsburgh.
Pitcher Mikayla Moore (11-6) pitched a three-hitter, striking out four and walking one. Claire VanNewkirk had a two-run single to highlight a five-run Knights outburst in the fifth inning. Abby Dennett and Presutti had back-to-back RBI-singles while hiking the Geneseo lead to 7-0.
Senior Jamie Whittam had two of Oneonta’s three hits, including an RBI double to drive in the only run for the Red Dragons.
Buffalo State 6, New Paltz 4, 10 innings: Buffalo State stayed alive in dramatic fashion, starting when Stephanie Novo delivered a two-out, two-run double in the seventh to force extra innings.
Still tied going into the top of the 10th, the Bengals got a leadoff triple by Chrissy Rennard. Lexi Haley doubled Rennard home and later scored on an infield error.
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