AU softball team splits key Empire 8 doubleheader with Ithaca
HORNELL, NY — The Alfred University softball team defeated visiting Ithaca College, 9-8, in the second game of a doubleheader Friday evening at Hornell High School, salvaging a split of a key Empire 8 Conference doubleheader.
Ithaca won a wild first game, allowing AU to rally from a five-run deficit to tie the game at 5-5 with three runs in the bottom of the seventh. The Bombers (8-6, 3-1 Empire 8) then sent 15 batters to the plate to score 10 runs in the top of the eighth to take a 15-5 victory.
In the nightcap, AU (7-9, 3-1 Empire 8) scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh when junior Stephanie Arguello (Placentia, CA/Vista del Lago) beat out a two-out infield single to score junior outfielder Samijo Scheer (Corning, NY/Corning East) from third. Scheer had reached on an error to open the inning, then advanced to third on a sacrifice and groundout.
Alfred fell behind, 4-1, before plating six runs in the third to take a 7-4 lead. Freshman shortstop Nicole Maher (Newark, DE/Caravel Academy) hit the first of her two homeruns of the game, a three-run blast. Ithaca came right back in the top of the fourth with three runs to tie the game at 7-7. AU got a single run in the bottom of the sixth on Maher’s solo shot, but the Bombers knotted the game back up on a solo homer leading off the seventh.
Ithaca had a runner on third with two outs but AU sophomore pitcher Jessica O’Sullivan (Habersham, SC/Groton-Barnstable (MA) Regional) got a groundout and strikeout to end the frame without further damage, setting the stage for Arguello’s heroics.
Maher had a two-homerun game for the second time in four Empire 8 games; she had a pair of two-run round-trippers in the second half a doubleheader at Nazareth last Saturday. Freshman catcher Jasmine Picini (Alexandria, VA/West Potomac) (RBI), freshman Nora Passuite (Lockport, NY/Lockport) (two RBIs, triple) and junior outfielder Rachel Guszick (Sparrowbush, NY/Port Jervis) each went 2-for-4 with a run scored.
O’Sullivan went the distance to improve her record to 5-0, allowing eight runs (seven earned) on 11 hits and striking out five.
In the opener, Ithaca plated a single run in the second and two runs in both the third and fourth to take a 5-0 lead. The Saxons scored single runs in the fourth and fifth to make it 5-2, then scored three in the seventh to send the game to extra innings. Arguello had a two-run triple with one out in the seventh, then scored tying run on a sacrifice fly to center by freshman third baseman Dana Torchia (Pompton Plains, NJ/Pequannock Twp.).
Freshman Katelyn Jakobsen (Elmwood Park, IL/Elmwood Park) took the loss for the Saxons, allowing 10 runs (six earned) on 14 hits while striking out four and walking three. Sophomore Samantha Jo Muller (Port Jervis, NY/Port Jervis) relieved Jakobsen in the eighth and allowed five runs (two earned) on three hits before Jakobsen re-entered and finished out the frame.
Arguello was 2-for-4 with a run and two RBIs; sophomore Alison Wickwire (Towanda, PA/Towanda) blasted a pinch-hit solo homerun; and Torchia and senior first baseman Hana Gross (Union, NJ/Union) each drove in a run.
Alfred is back in action Saturday, April 6, for a 1 p.m. doubleheader against visiting Empire 8 foe Utica at Hornell High School.
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