Thursday, March 26, 2009


Softball Overcomes Sloppy Fielding for Sweep of Monmouth
Seawolves are on a 12-game winning streak

West Long Branch, N.J. - Stony Brook University's softball team was able to overcome six errors and four unearned runs on its way to a two-game sweep of Monmouth on Wednesday afternoon. The Seawolves won both contests by a score of 4-2, with the second game ending in the fifth inning due to darkness. It is the second-straight season Stony Brook and Monmouth have had a game called early due to darkness; last year they ended in a 2-2 tie. With the pair of wins, Stony Brook moves to 16-3 on the season and wins its 12th-straight game.
In game one, Stony Brook threatened to score early putting a runner on third in the first inning and on second in the following inning, but failed to capitalize on either opportunity. In the third, sophomore Brijette Martin (New York, N.Y.) led off with the Seawolves' third single of the game. After stealing second and moving to third on groundout, senior Molly Kestranek (St. Mary's, Ga.) knocked Martin in with a two-out single to right field for the game's first run.
Kestranek would later lead the Seawolves to another two-out rally, this time in the fifth, by drawing a walk. A walk issued to senior Marissa Fleury (Mahopac, N.Y.) put runners on first and second for classmate Kelly Oberto (Spring Lake Heights, N.J.), who singled home Kestranek. Senior Kelsi Fanelli (Audubon, N.J.) followed that with an RBI single through the left side and freshman Bernadette Tenuto (Audubon, N.J.) finished the scoring off with a third-straight run scoring single.

Trailing 4-0, Monmouth used a two-out rally of its own in the bottom of the fifth to cut into the Seawolves lead. Back-to-back singles put runners on first and second with no one out before junior Alyssa Struzenberg (Cooper City, Fla.) struck out the next two batters. It looked like the Seawolves would escape the inning, but a fielding error loaded the bases for Alexa Ferrara, who singled home a run. A second error by Stony Brook would plate Monmouth's second run of the inning. Struzenberg struck the next batter out to end the inning and leave the Seawolves up by two.
Monmouth would not reach base again as Struzenberg retired the final six batters in order to maintain the 4-2 win for Stony Brook. The junior allowed just four hits while striking out ten, her fifth double-digit strikeout performance of the season.
In the second game, with the scored tied at 1-1 in the fourth, Monmouth received a leadoff single by Jessellyn Jackson. A sacrifice bunt put her on second and a throwing error by Stony Brook would advance her two bases for the 2-1 lead. Two singles later, Monmouth had the bases loaded with two-outs, but junior Casey Jacobs (Davie, Fla.) induced a grounder to junior Katelyn O'Donnell (Kingston, Mass.) who stepped on third for the final out of the inning.
Facing their last at-bats of the game due to darkness, the Seawolves would rally in the top of the fifth. Junior Crista Cerrone (Floral Park, N.Y.) drew a one-out walk and scored on a single by Kestranek, due to a fielding error by Monmouth's right fielder. With two outs, Oberto delivered what would prove to be the game-winning hit with a single back up the middle, plating Kestranek and regaining the lead for Stony Brook. Fanelli would add an insurance run for the Seawolves with an RBI single, SBU's third score of the inning.
Jacobs retried the first two batters in the bottom of the fifth, but then allowed a single up the middle to Jackson. A steal and wild pitch put her on third, but Jacobs eventually struck out the final batter to end the game.
Stony Brook opens conference play this weekend when they host a three-game series against Binghamton. The Seawolves have a double-header on Saturday, starting at noon, and then a single game on Sunday.