Boston, Mass. – The Stony Brook softball team had its season come to an end on Saturday after suffering a pair of losses at the hands of Boston University and Albany in the America East Tournament. Stony Brook dropped its first game of the day to BU, 7-3, before falling in a heartbreaker against the Great Danes, 6-5.
The Seawolves finished the season with a 36-17-1 record (a .676 winning percentage) and tied a program record for the most wins in a single season in Stony Brook history.
In Saturday’s opener, the Seawolves battled top-seed Boston University (39-14) for the right to advance to the championship on Sunday. The Terriers, who were designated as the road team after a coin flip, struck first with a run in the top of the first off SBU starter Allison Cukrov.
Stony Brook quickly answered, however, when senior Bernadette Tenuto (Audubon, N.J.) singled home freshman Shayla Giosia (Runnemede, N.J.) to tie it at one in the bottom of the frame.
Tenuto then gave the Seawolves a 2-1 lead two innings later when she ripped another RBI single through the middle to bring home senior Alyssa Hawley (Spokane, Wash.).
But the pesky BU attack would not go away as the Terriers plated runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to go in front 4-2 heading to the bottom of the sixth.
Stony Brook would not go quietly.
After three straight singles to lead off the inning, pinch-hitter Nicole Hoyle (Warwick, Md.) delivered a clutch single through the left side to bring the Seawolves within a run. With a golden opportunity to tie the game and possibly go ahead, Stony Brook could not do any further damage as BU pitcher Whitney Tuthill induced three consecutive ground-outs, including two force-outs at home, to end the threat and swing momentum back to the Terriers.
The victory advanced Boston University to Sunday’s championship and forced Stony Brook to play a second game on Saturday against No. 3 Albany, which had knocked off No. 4 Maine earlier in the day.
Things did not start well for the Seawolves as the Great Danes (36-13) pushed across two runs in the bottom of the first to go ahead 2-0.
Just as in the first game, Stony Brook answered the early deficit with two runs of its own in the second, highlighted by a solo home run off the bat of Tenuto.
Albany tacked on four more runs in the third to take a four-run lead at 6-2 and force the Seawolves to play from behind yet again.
And play catch-up they did.
After an RBI double by senior Lauren Maloney (Las Vegas, Nev.) made it 6-3 in the fourth, Giosia popped her eighth home run of the season to left in the fifth to cut the deficit to 6-5. In the sixth, Stony Brook advanced a runner to third with two outs, but Albany starter Brittany Schwieger pitched out of trouble to put a stop to the rally.
Reliever Christine Lucido (Melville, N.Y.) retired the Great Danes in order in the sixth to give SBU one final chance to tie the game in the seventh. After a leadoff single by senior Suzanne Karath (Fishkill, N.Y.), Hawley laid down a textbook sac-bunt to move the runner into scoring position with one out. Giosia then stepped to the plate and blasted a hard liner to short, but Albany’s Alexa Toole made a leaping catch and doubled Karath off second to end the game and eliminate Stony Brook from the competition.
Lucido pitched four scoreless innings in relief of Cukrov and allowed only three hits, while striking out one. After the game, Maloney and Tenuto were named to the All-Tournament Team after hitting .667 and .500 for the weekend, respectively.
This will be the third time in the last four years and fifth time overall Boston U. and Albany will decide the league champion. The Terriers are attempting to become the first host to win the tournament since 2004 while the Great Danes are attempting join Hofstra's 1999 squad as the only teams to lose their tournament opener and win the championship.
2012 America East Softball Championship
At Boston University Softball Field
Friday, May 11
Game 1: No. 1 Boston U. 3,vs. No. 4 Maine 2
Game 2: No. 2 Stony Brook 6, No. 3 Albany 4
Saturday, May 12
Game 3: Boston U. 7, Stony Brook 3
Game 4: Albany 2, Maine 0 (elimination game)
Game 5: Albany 6, Stony Brook 5 (elimination game)
Sunday, May 13
Game 6: Albany vs. Boston U. 10 a.m. (championship game)
Game 7: Albany vs. Boston U., 12:30 p.m. (if necessary)