|Manhattan Opens Home Schedule With Doubleheader Split|
RIVERDALE, N.Y. - After opening the season with 21 straight contests away from home, the Manhattan College softball team finally took the field at Gaelic Park on Thursday. The Jaspers (2-21) dropped a 9-0 decision to Stony Brook (22-9) in the first game of the doubleheader before rebounding for a 5-2 victory in the nightcap.
Game one was scoreless until the fourth, when Stony Brook rallied for five runs. The big blow in the inning was a bases loaded double by Shayla Giosia. The Seawolves then added four more in the fifth, with Giosia knocking another two-run double.
The Manhattan offense, meanwhile, was unable to mount a rally against Allison Cukrov. The Stony Brook hurler tossed a perfect game, striking out 12 of the 15 Jaspers she faced in the 9-0 victory. Cukrov (13-4) didn't allow a ball to leave the infield, retiring the other three hitters on popups.
Giosia led the Seawolves at the plate, going 3-for-3 with four RBIs and a run scored. Lauren Maloney was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored, while Suzanne Karath and Alyssa Hawley both scored twice.
Kelsi Redding (Tucson, Ariz.) (0-7) took the loss for the Jaspers. She gave up nine runs (eight earned) on eight hits and struck out one.
In game two, Manhattan got on the board first when Amanda Babcock (Haverstraw, N.Y.) led off the third inning with her first home run of the season, a long solo shot to center field. It would remain 1-0 until the sixth, when the Jasper bats came alive. Meghan McDevitt (Nutley, N.J.) started the rally with a one-out single, then Jen Keller (Woodridge, N.J.) singled to right. Kelly Murray (Leominster, Mass.) followed with a three-run blast to left field that made it 4-0. It marked the second straight season in which Murray hit a three-run homer on Opening Day at Gaelic Park. Immediately after Murray's long ball, Mickayla Romero (Las Vegas, Nev.) increased the Jaspers' lead to 5-0 with her first career home run.
"We've been waiting for that," Head Coach Tom Pardalis said. "It was nice to get some long balls and drive in some runs."
After being held to just two hits through six innings, Stony Brook mounted a rally in the seventh. Bernadette Tenuto flied to center to start the inning before three successive hits led to a pair of runs. The Seawolves brought the tying run to the plate with two outs after Hawley and Karath delivered back-to-back singles to load the bases. However, Maloney lifted a fly ball down the left field line that Anna Gallacher (New Fairfield, Conn.) snagged in foul territory to end the game, giving the Jaspers 5-2 victory and snapping Manhattan's 16-game losing streak.
"It's a big monkey off our back," Pardalis said. "We needed to see that we can win. This game definitely gave the girls some confidence. Hopefully this can take some of the pressure off, and we'll play free and easy like we know we can do."
Amy Bright (Manlius, N.Y.) went the distance in the circle to earn her first collegiate win. Bright (1-5) gave up two runs on seven hits, struck out three and walked three. Six different Jaspers had hits in game two, and all five of Manhattan's runs came via the long ball.
Nicole Schieferstein went 2-for-3 at the plate, while Nicole Hagerty was 1-for-2 with a run scored and an RBI. As a team, the Seawolves collected seven hits in the nightcap. Christine Lucido (4-2) took the loss after allowing five runs and six hits while striking out seven and walking three in six innings of work.
The Jaspers now have nearly a week off before returning to action. Manhattan visits Albany (21-7) for a 3 p.m. doubleheader on Wednesday, April 11.