By Brian Savard
The SUNY New Paltz softball team (18-15, 9-7 SUNYAC) saw two comeback bids fall short on Sunday in a SUNYAC doubleheader, as the Hawks lost twice to SUNY Cortland (18-12, 11-3 SUNYAC) at Red Dragon Softball Field. The Red Dragons prevailed, 5-3, in game one before taking a 7-6 victory in the nightcap.
Junior first baseman Chelsea Kull initiated scoring in the fifth, homering to left field. Cortland responded in the home half of the frame, pushing across five runs to make it a 5-1 ballgame.
New Paltz staged a two-out rally in the sixth, as senior second baseman Melissa Liotta ripped a two-run home run, scoring sophomore Noelle Grande. Sophomore Marissa Monaco singled through the right side and Kull walked to put runners on first and second, but a strikeout ended the threat.
No Hawk had more than a hit in game one, while third baseman Courtney Kadish (2-for-3, one double) and catcher Briana Barca (2-for-3) each boasted multiple hits for Cortland.
Senior pitcher Amber Carozza was saddled with the loss, giving up five runs on eight hits while striking out four. Cortland’s Amber Corrigan pitched a complete game, too, yielding three runs on four hits with six K’s.
In game two, Cortland’s five-run second started the scoring. Cork drove in two with a single, while pinch hitter Beth Lamison singled through the left side to push the score to 3-0. Meola plated two runs with a double, but the inning ended when she was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple.
New Paltz got two back in the top half of the third, with Burgess coming across on a Liotta single before Liotta scored on a double by senior designated player Andrea Feeney. The Red Dragons countered in the bottom of the frame, as designated player Nicole Gallo drove in center fielder Cassie Kardias with a single up the middle.
The Hawks made it a two-run game in the fourth when Feeney plated sophomore Shayna Burgess with a single. The Red Dragons then increased their lead to three on a sacrifice fly.
New Paltz had the winning run on first in the seventh, but Cortland forced a timely groundout to end the game.
Burgess (2-for-3, two runs scored) and Feeney (2-for-4, two RBI) each had a multi-hit performance for the Hawks in game two, while Cork (2-for-4, two RBI), Meola (2-for-3, two RBI) paced the Red Dragon bats.