Dutchwomen Rally to Sweep Saints in 2010 Finale
May 2: The St. Lawrence University softball team played their final contests of the 2010 season on Sunday in Canton, NY against Union College. The visitors held off St. Lawrence 3-2 in game one, then used a two-run rally in the top of the seventh to force extra innings and win on an inside the park home run to earn the victory 4-3 (8) and the doubleheader sweep.
The wins clinched the 2010 Liberty League regular season title for Union, which improved to 26-8 on the year. St. Lawrence closes the season with a 12-17 mark, and honored the team's seven players who competed for the last time in a Saints' uniform.
St. Lawrence junior pitcher Rachel Duffany continued to shine in game one after two brilliant outings against Skidmore on Saturday. The Watertown, NY native held the Dutchwomen off the scoreboard until the top of the fourth, when the visitors scored three unearned runs on three hits and two St. Lawrence errors to take a 3-0 lead.
Union starter Tiffany Ippoliti was impressive on the mound as well, as she kept the Saints' bats quiet until the bottom of the fifth. Senior captain Jennifer Girard reached on a two-out single and scored on an RBI triple by junior Melissa Rogers. An error by Union then allowed Rogers to score on the following hitter to pull the Scarlet and Brown to within a run at 3-2.
However, Ippoliti was able to close the door and did not allow another hit in the final two innings to pick up the win and improve to 13-3 on the year after allowing only two hits. Duffany suffered another tough loss, scattering seven hits but giving up no earned runs.
The Saints appeared poised to knock off Union in game two thanks to a great outing on the mound from first-year student Elizabeth McGinley. The Canastota, NY native gave up eight hits and carried a 3-1 lead into the seventh inning. The Saints took a 2-0 lead in third when senior Molly Swan delivered an RBI single and first-year pinch runner Lauren Weisbarth scored from second on a Union error. The Dutchwomen cut the lead to 2-1 the next inning on an RBI double from Ashley Kovack, but St. Lawrence picked up an insurance run in the sixth on four hits including an RBI single from Girard for the two-run advantage.
Union opened the top of the seventh with back-to-back hits, but McGinley recovered after a sac bunt and a pop out to second. With two outs, Nina Cervini hit a shot to short that Rogers bobbled then overthrew first base. The errors allowed both Becky Gronczniak and Lauren Hoffman to score and tie the game at 3-3.
After St. Lawrence was unable to win the game in the bottom half of the seventh, Union took its first lead of 4-3 when Kovack ripped a shot down the third base line with one out in the eighth. The hit rolled all the way to the wall, and after the St. Lawrence fielder misplayed the ball, Kovack scored on an inside the park home run for the 4-3 lead.
The Saints would try to mount a rally of their own in the bottom of the eighth, as McGinley led off with a hit and graduate student Sandy Gates walked to set up the home team with no outs. Ippoliti was called upon to relieve Ginny Sack, the game two starter, and retired Girard and Rogers before walking first-year student Chelsea Cavellier. With the bases loaded, senior Jessica Manderfield was unable to deliver the big hit, striking out swinging to allow Union to celebrate the 4-3 victory.
Sack earned the win after allowing three runs on 11 hits in 7.0 innings, while Ippoliti was credited with her second save of the season. McGinley did not allow an earned run in 8.0 innings, striking out two and walking two.
Sunday's doubleheader was the last games for seven members of the Class of 2010, including Amy Atkins, Jennifer Girard, Jessica Manderfield, Jenna Padeni, Molly Swan, Emilie Lannamann and Sandy Gates. Union will host the 2010 Liberty League Tournament beginning May 8 and 9.