May 11, 2007
Dragons finish off Elms
Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
SUNY Cortland’s Stefanie Cola hits a ground ball gapper in the second inning of Thursday’s NCAA softball regional game against Elms College. Cola had two hits in 9-1 Red Dragons win.
It took longer than hoped for, but SUNY Cortland finally finished off an opening round victory in NCAA Division III softball regional play.
The host Red Dragons defeated Elms College from Massachusetts 9-1 this morning in a resumption of a contest that was rained out Thursday_afternoon. The game was halted in_the fifth inning under the 8-run mercy rule.
Now second seed Cortland (36-8) will face rival and third seed Ithaca College (34-7) at 4:30 p.m. this afternoon at Dragon Field — the last of fives game scheduled on the second day of this double elimination tournament that goes into Sunday.
Plattsburgh opened the tournament with a 7-1 victory over Keuka College Thursday morning, followed by Ithaca defeating Pittsburgh-Bradford 6-1.
Cortland held a 5-0 lead through two innings on Elms before lightning suspended play. An ensuing rain shower postponed the remainder of the day’s schedule.
The rest of today’s schedule has top seed Rochester (26-5) facing fourth seed Plattsburgh (32-11) this morning, fifth seed Keuka (24-5) taking on Elms (18-12) at 12:30 p.m. and sixth seed Pitt-Bradford (20-17) facing the Rochester-Plattsburgh loser at 2:30 p.m. The Cortland-Ithaca game then concludes the day.
During the regular season, Cortland and Ithaca split a non-conference doubleheader on the Bombers’ home field. Cortland dropped the first game 3-2 and captured the nightcap 5-3 on that occasion.
Cortland 9, Elms 1, 5 innings: Starting pitcher Ang D’Amboise and Katie Finch held Elms to two hits and Nicole Fredericks drove in three runs with a 2-for-3 bat as the Red Dragons rolled in the opener.
Cortland grabbed a quick 2-0 lead by stringing together a trio of two-out hits. Annemarie Nelson had an infield hit, Shara Evanter singled into right field and Nicole Fredericks tripled to right-center to bring both Red Dragons home.
Cortland filled the bases in the second before Jamie Neuner got a run home with an infield single. Nelson then Nelson singled home two more runs.
When Cortland took its first cuts this morning, Dominique Talbot led off the bottom of the third with a double. An error and a passed ball moved runners in scoring position, Stephanie Cola singled through the right side to make it 4-0 Cortland.
Two more runs scored on a Kate Yaun grounder and a wild pitch.
Senior D’Amboise retired the first 10 batters she faced before Kerrie Bowden singled into left field. She would score later in the inning on a Christina Giampetruzzi single down the left field line.
Finch came on and struck out all three batters she faced in the fifth.
Cortland added a run in the bottom of the fourth when Nelson walked, swiped second and scored on Fredericks double down the line in right.
Nelson and Cola added two hits to the 10-hit Cortland attack.
Plattsburgh 7, Keuka 1: Pitcher Stephanie Zweig tossed a four-hitter and struck out 10 batters as the Cardinals opened with a victory, the junior backed by a 10-hit attack.
Jennifer Nescio, Danielle Gjergji and Andrea Stupp had two-hits apiece for Plattsburgh. The Cardinals led 1-0 before coming up with three big runs in the bottom of the fourth, a Gjergji RBI double and Stupp run-scoring triple the big blows in that rally.
Four more hits led to a pair of runs in the fifth.
Keuka spoiled Zweig’s shutout bid in the top of the sixth inning scoring an unearned run. After a dropped pop-up, singles by Sarah Wehnau and Jen Shaughnessy produced the lone run for the Storm.
Ithaca 6, Pitt-Bradford 1: Leadoff hitter Erica Cutspec had a big day for the Bombers. The junior shortstop was 3-for-4, including a two-run homer hit in the bottom of the sixth inning that wrapped up this victory.
Cutspec drove in three runs on the day, as Ithaca had 10 hits oveall. Catcher Hannah Shalett and second baseman Jessica Strangarone were both 2-for-3.
Pittsburgh-Bradford was held to three hits by winning pitcher Nicole Cade, who struck out 11 and walked two.
The lone run for the Panthers came in the top of the first. Catrina Retterer led off the game with a double and scored on a Michelle Kushner single to center. Cade allowed just one other hit the rest of the way.
Bears goal in OT trips up Trojans
Homer Central boys used a fourth-quarter comeback to get into overtime, only to be denied an OHSL Class B Division lacrosse win when Brandon Macera scored with 2:43 left in the extra session overtime to lift Chittenango to a 7-6 victory Thursday.
Chittenango improved to 4-7 in the division and 6-7 overall while Homer fell to 3-8 in the division and 3-12 overall.
“We did what he had to do in the fourth quarter,” said Homer coach Tom Cottrell. “We tied the game and got a chance to win, but we did not get possession of the ball in overtime. We played defense for the entire 1:17 of overtime and Macera scored when play broken down a little.
“We played hard,” Cottrell continued. “We put out a good effort and there was a lot of hustle.”
Macera’s tally ruined a nice Butts Field comeback, which saw Homer tally twice in the final 2:40 of regulation time to overcome a 6-4 deficit. Erich Lindhorst scored a man-up goal with 2:40 left in regulation time after converting a nice pass from Brett Capps to cut the Bears advantage to 6-5. With 42 seconds left, Kyle Meztger split two defenders and went one-on-one with goalkeeper Dylan Mann (15 saves). Metzger found an opening and fired the tying shot home.
Bryce Martin, who gave Chittenango lead 6-4 in the fourth quarter, opened the scoring with an unassisted goal with 8:34 left in the first quarter.
Talon Sprouse tied the game for Homer at 1-1 after a nice pass from Paul Armideo with 6:14 left in the quarter. The Trojans took a 2-1 lead when Shawn Cleary scored an unassisted goal with 4:36 left in the first quarter.
Adam Wayne responded for the Bears with 15 seconds left in the first quarter. His unassisted goal knotted the game at 2-2.
Macera gave the home team a 3-2 lead with 8:23 left in the first half, but Homer countered with three minutes left in the half as Brett Capps scored off a feed from Sprouse. The game remained deadlocked 3-3 at halftime.
Chittenango took a 4-3 lead with 7:13 left in the third quarter as Matthew Furtado scored on the man-advantage with Scott Corp assisting. Bears defenseman Zack Hamelink put his team up 5-3 with an unassisted goal with 3:19 left in the quarter.
The Trojans trimmed to deficit to 5-4 on a Metzger goal with 1:38 remaining in the quarter. Armideo was credited with the assist.
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Dragons in NCAA start
The SUNY Cortland men’s lacrosse team will begin defense of its NCAA Division III title when the Red Dragons play a second-round game at St. Lawrence Saturday.
Game time is 1 p.m. in Canton.
Cortland, led by first-year head coach Steve Beville, earned an at-large bid to the 20-team national tournament field. The Red Dragons (12-5) will be making their seventh consecutive NCAA berth and their 16th overall.
St. Lawrence (14-1) earned an automatic NCAA bid after winning the Liberty League tournament title last weekend. Cortland and St. Lawrence are two of 12 teams to earn a bye into the second round.
The Cortland-St. Lawrence winner will play either Western New England or Keene State in the quarterfinals next Wednesday.
The Red Dragons won their first Division III national title last year after winning four tournament games, capped by a thrilling 13-12 overtime win in the finals over three-time defending champion Salisbury. Cortland advanced to the national quarterfinals each of the previous two seasons, losing at home to Nazareth both times.
Cortland was a national semifinalist in 2003 before losing in double overtime at home to Middlebury.
Junior attackman Ryan Heath leads the Red Dragons this spring with 70 points (44 goals-26 assists). His point total is the eighth-best single-season effort in school history.
Junior Billy Fuchs as 41 goals and 22 assists for 63 points and senior Mike Felice has 27 goals and 18 assists for 45 points. Sophomore goalie Michael Robinson is 10-2 with a 5.76 goals against average and 58.5 save percentage.
Four of Cortland’s five losses this season are by one goal. The only loss by more than one goal was a 7-5 setback at St. Lawrence back on March 10. The teams have never met in NCAA play before, but Cortland has played the Liberty League champion in the NCAA tournament five of the last six years. Cortland lost to Rensselaer in the 2001 first round, beat Clarkson in both 2002 (first round) and 2004 (second round), defeated Hamilton in the 2003 quarterfinals and beat Skidmore in the 2005 second round.
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