May 23, 2011


Two wins keep Red Dragons going

World Series rematch with Linfield resumes today

SoftballBob Molta/Eastern Connecticut SID
SUNY Cortland pinch-runner Charlotte Freed is safe at home after hustling to score a crucial run during Sunday’s 14-8 victory over DePauw at the NCAA Division III World Series in Salem, Va. DePauw catcher Amy Hallett was late with the tag, with on-deck batter Meaghan Kohler (16) watching the play.

SALEM, Va. — The SUNY Cortland softball team is in no hurry to return home.
After an opening day loss at the NCAA Division III World Series on Friday, the Red Dragons posted a pair of victories over the weekend and will be returning to the James Moyer Sports Complex diamond this morning to resume an elimination game against Linfield that was halted by rain after one inning Sunday night.
After junior pitcher Lyndsay Rowell blanked Iowa’s Luther College 6-0 on Saturday, the Red Dragons (42-4-1) rallied from an early 5-0 deficit to knock off DePauw University out of Indiana 14-8 in a wild affair on Sunday afternoon to stay alive in this double-elimination tournament.
Senior Donnalyn Cross was 4-for-4 in the win over DePauw, with a double and two triples. She is now the NCAA Division III career leader with 43 triples, two more than the previous record set by Bridgewater State’s Angela Vecchione from 1998-2001.
Cortland then grabbed a 1-0 lead on Oregon’s Linfield — the No. 1 ranked team in the country that humbled the Red Dragons 10-0 on opening day — before rained postponed things to 10 a.m. this morning.
Cross scored the lone Cortland run after a lead-off single, doubled home by Lucia Meola –who was thrown out trying to reach third. The Red Dragons had turned a double play in the top of the first to escape a jam.
The Cortland-Linfield winner moves on to face Texas-Tyler at noon to see who advances into the championship round. Christopher Newport is the lone unbeaten left, and will have to be beaten twice to be denied a national title.
Cortland 14, DePauw: Second baseman Cross scored four times and drove in two runs in her big day leading the comeback against DePauw.
Sophomore Meola went 3-for-3 with a walk and also drove in four runs, senior Brooke Weidman was 2-for-3 with a walk and scored three times and junior Jessica Harman hit a solo home run.
Still trailing 7-4 entering the bottom of the fifth, Cortland scored five runs to take a 9-7 lead. DePauw (34-11-1), tied for 16th nationally, scored once in the top of the sixth to draw back to within a run, but the Red Dragons broke the game open with five more runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Cortland won despite tying an NCAA Division III tournament record by committing eight errors. All eight of DePauw’s run were unearned as a result. Three of those errors helped DePauw score its five first-inning runs.
Buena Vista made eight errors, also in a win, versus Cal Lutheran in the 1998 NCAA West regional.
Pitcher Rowell improved to 26-3 with the victory. She gave up 10 hits and one walk and struck out one. All 14 runs that Rowell has allowed through Cortland’s first three World Series games have been unearned.
Haley Buchanan led DePauw going 3-for-4, while Amy Hallett hit a three-run homer in the first inning.
Down 5-0, Cortland got two runs back in the bottom of the first when Cross tripled and scored on a Meola single. Meola was thrown out trying to advance to second on the play, and two batters later Harman hit a solo homer to left for her second round-tripper of the season.
Rachel MacBeth’s RBI single in the third put the Tigers up 6-2, but Cortland scored twice in the bottom of the inning on a Meola two-run single. A leadoff error by the Red Dragons in the fourth set up an eventual RBI single by Hallett and DePauw led 7-4.
Cortland’s five-run fifth inning started with a Weidman single and a Cross RBI double. Meola singled home Cross, and an Abby Martin single and Cassie Kardias walk loaded the bases with one out. DePauw’s Emily Bichler then unleashed a wild pitch that allowed Meola to score the tying run.
During the play, Bichler started to walk back to the circle with home plate uncovered and pinch-runner Charlotte Freed, who started the play at second base, alertly kept running past third and scored to give Cortland an 8-7 lead. Kardias went from first to third on the sequence and scored on Meaghan Kohler’s RBI single.
DePauw got a run back in the sixth on an RBI groundout by Jamie Story, but left the potential tying run stranded on third. Cortland then broke the game open with five runs in the sixth on a Cross RBI triple, a Martin sacrifice fly, an error, a Tara Donnino sacrifice fly and a Katie Fusco run-producing base hit.
Cortland 6, Luther 0: Rowell pitched a five-hit shutout and Meola drove in three runs with a 2-for-3 bat as Cortland avoided elimination on Saturday.
Cortland’s Cross tripled to lead off the game to tie the NCAA Division III record with 41 career triples. She matched the mark set by Bridgewater State’s (Mass.) Angela Vecchione from 1998-2001.
After Cross tripled, Meola hit a sacrifice fly to center to give Cortland a 1-0 lead. In the third, Meola led off with an infield single, stole second, took third on a wild pitch and scored on a Harman double to left center.
The Red Dragons added two runs in the fifth to take a 4-0 lead. Weidman reached on an infield single and took second on the play. Cross bunted for a hit, moving Weidman to third, and Cross kept running and went to second. Meola followed by lining a two-run single to center.
In the sixth, Kohler singled and pinch runner Freed went to second on a Nicole Gallo sacrifice bunt. With two outs, Weidman singled to left to move Freed to third, and Weidman alertly took second on the play. On an ensuing wild pitch, Freed scored and Weidman kept running on the play and also beat the throw home.
Cross and Weidman each finished 2-for-3 with two runs scored and Harman was 2-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI. Rowell struck out four and walked one in her winning effort.
Shari Huber was 2-for-2 to lead the Norse.


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