Andrew Dawson, Staff Writer |
The SUNY Oneonta softball team split their first series against Cortland on Monday, Apr. 5. Cortland won the first game of the series 7-2 but the Red Dragons took game two 11-4.
In the first game of the doubleheader, Cortland jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. Cortland scored their first run in the second inning after having runners on first and third base. The runner on first base was caught stealing second base, allowing her teammate to score. However, the turning point of the game happened in the sixth inning. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Cortland scored five runs, increasing their lead 7-0. Cortland was able to create timely hits with runners in scoring position, causing them to score. The player of the game for Cortland was Gina Meyers, having two hits and two runs scored. Meyers started the rally in the sixth inning for Cortland as well, hitting the ball into centerfield and scoring two runs.
Oneonta’s two runs came in the final inning of the game. The Red Dragons tried to overcome the big deficit as they had two runners in scoring position with two outs. Then, freshman Victoria Hines belted a two-run double into deep centerfield. However, Oneonta wasn’t able to have the comeback victory because the next batter grounded out to end the game.
Oneonta answered back in the second game of the doubleheader. The Red Dragons jumped out to an early lead in the top of the first inning as junior Megan Palmatier singled through the left side of the infield, scoring the first run of the game.
In the top of the third, Oneonta freshman Delaney Haley started the inning by hitting a single to deep centerfield. Later in the inning, Haley stole second base and Palmatier came back up to the plate with a runner in scoring position. In a 2-2 count, Palmatier hit a ground ball and reached base safely as Cortland’s third baseman made a fielding error. Senior Meaghan Raleigh was the next player to bat. Raleigh hit a deep fly ball to left field on a 1-2 count and it looked to be the end of the inning. However, Cortland’s left fielder misplayed the ball, giving up two runs in the process.
Oneonta was able to extend the lead 4-0 after scoring another run in the fourth inning, but Cortland didn’t give up. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Cortland scored three runs, closing the gap 4-3. It looked like this game would come down to the wire and be decided in the final inning, and it did just that.
The turning point of the game happened in the top of the seventh inning with Oneonta up to bat. Senior Amber Badillo led off the inning and reached on a throwing error by the shortstop. Later in the inning, Hines singled into left field, advancing the runner to third. Then, Hines was able to reach second base after Cortland’s left fielder overthrew the shortstop. Freshman Gianna Cancelleri was the next to bat with runners in scoring position. On the first pitch, Cancelleri singled into centerfield, scoring two runs and extending their lead 6-3. The Red Dragons didn’t stop there, as sophomore Marissa Nagel singled to right field, scoring Cancelleri and extending
their lead 7-3. Oneonta scored four more runs in the inning, two off a line-drive double by sophomore Anna Ciccarelli.
In the final inning, junior Kathryn Davies came into pitch with the game on the line. Davies gave up two hits and one run before retiring the final batter to win the game.
This was a huge series for the Red Dragons, starting off the season with a 1-1 record. While Oneonta dropped the first game of the doubleheader, they were able to answer back and take game two. Hopefully, the Red Dragons can keep up the momentum and their impressive start. The Red Dragons’ next game of the season is a doubleheader against Cortland on Saturday, Apr. 10. The games will be held at the Red Dragon Softball Field at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.