The top-seeded College of Staten Island women’s softball team lost its opening game of the CUNYAC/Applebee’s double-elimination tournament at the hands of No. 4 seed Brooklyn College, 5-4, before turning around and defeating No. 2 Hunter College via a walk-off hit by senior Kaitlyn Flynn to survive Day One of festivities at the College of Staten Island Softball Complex earlier this afternoon. With the split the Dolphins have advanced to Day Two tomorrow, where they will face the losing side of Baruch College vs. Brooklyn at 12 Noon for the right to advance to the CUNYAC Championship.
In the opening game, a total of four unearned runs that were costly for both teams highlighted a game that saw the Bulldogs in control for most of the way. CSI staked themselves to a 1-0 lead on a Stefanie Solari sac fly that scored Kristi Dillon in the game’s first inning, but the lead didn’t hold up long, as Brooklyn raced ahead in the second. Tara Diesel and Norah Marley each started the frame with a hit, and both were advanced on a Becky Ganley sac bunt. Antoinette Brown followed with a base hit through the left side of the infield, scoring starting pitcher Marie Oneta, who came in to pinch run for Diesel.
With the score tied at 1-1, controversy ensued. Brown tried to steal second base, and the throw by CSI catcher Amanda D’Amato flew way out of line and into the outfield, scoring Marley easily from third with Brown also coming in all the way from first base. CSI argued the call, claiming interference, and after a nearly five minute delay due to appeal, the play stood up and the Bulldogs were up, 3-1.
Starting pitchers Oneto and CSI’s Victoria Procopio seemed to settle from there and there were only a total of four base runners for both teams through the next 3.5 innings of play. Brooklyn then struck hard in the sixth, scoring a pair of crucial insurance tallies. After recording an out, Diesel, Marley, and Allison Donovan all singled for Brooklyn, loading the bags. Up next stepped Katherine Fuentes, who belted a two-RBI base hit right up the middle to make the score, 5-1. Procopio then worked her way out of the jam but the damage was done.
Down to their final six outs, CSI mustered up a rally in their turn of the sixth. After a Danielle Ponsiglione single, Oneto got into trouble, walking both Catherine Ebro and Christine DeCarlo. Samantha Tallerine then came in to pinch hit, and was also walked, driving in Ponsiglione. Ebro then scored next on a passed ball, and catcher Brown then committed an error to allow DeCarlo to come in as well, making the score, 5-4. With Tallerine on second base, however, Brooklyn was able to get out of the inning.
CSI did threaten in the seventh inning, when Flynn was intentionally walked (for the third time in the game) and Solari followed with a bloop hit over third base to put runners at first and second with no out. Oneto then responded well, getting three outs on four pitches via fly balls to end the threat.
Brooklyn out-hit CSI, 9-6, led by Diesel and Marley’s two hits apiece. Ponsiglione went 2-4 in the game.
Facing elimination, CSI’s next opponent was No. 2 Hunter College, a 2-1 loser to No. 3 Baruch in their first round game. This time, however, the Dolphins ended up on the positive end of a wild and sometimes sloppy game.
Both teams got on the board early as Hunter took a 2-1 lead after two frames, with a run in each of the first two innings. A Megan Meehan RBI-single scored Crissette Maxwell in the first frame and then CSI was victimized by error again. An error by Solari at first base on a routine play off of a KaTee Bauer bunt, would score Megan O’Shea from second base. Flynn did the honors for CSI’s run, driving home Dillon via an RBI-single in the first.
CSI hurler Ponsiglione then matched Amanda Annicaro stride for stride until the fifth inning. There, CSI flubbed another pair of plays when second baseman Taylor Kaplan failed to handle a ball off of another bunt by Maxwell, and later D’Amato couldn’t handle another bunt by Sophia Ponce. With bases loaded and no one out, Meehan then singled in a run. CSI got out of the jam via a base running mistake by Ponce and then a sterling infield double-play turned in by Flynn on the hot corner.
Now down 3-1, CSI had their turn in the fifth and responded with a big inning. With one out, DeCarlo walked, and D’Amato followed with a single as well. Next up was Dillon, who smacked an RBI-double to right-center, scoring DeCarlo. CSI then caught a break when Brittany Smith struck out, but because the ball was in the dirt, she took off for first base, and even though she was called out, D’Amato was able to score. Sensing the defense was out of position, Dillon also tried to score but was gunned out at home, insuring the score remain tied, 3-3, going into the final two frames.
A scoreless sixth then followed, with Hunter getting out of a jam when Ashley Iacovetti came in relief if Annicaro, leaving the bases loaded. After the Hawks stranded a runner in the seventh, CSI was up for their last attempt before extra frames. After recording an out, Dillon started the rally with a single, and the senior took second on a wild pitch. Smith then followed with a single, and CSI averted disaster when Smith tried to extend to second base, which she did successfully. With runners at second and third, up stepped Flynn, who to that point was 3-3 in the game and 4-4 on the entire afternoon, having reached base all seven times. Amazingly, with first base open and still only one out, the Hawks decided to pitch to Flynn, and the senior made it hurt, calmly stroking the game winner on a liner to centerfield, easily scoring Dillon for the game winner.
CSI gets together with Councilman James Oddo (kneeling center)
Flynn finished the game 4-4 as CSI out-hit Hunter, 11-9. Ponsiglione won the game yielding three runs (one earned), fanning one. Iacovetti took the loss tossing 1.1 innings in relief. The top three batters in the order for CSI went a combined 9-12 with 3 RBI and two runs scored.
In a rousing post-game festivity, CSI commemorated the inauguration of the new softball lights, with a ceremonial first pitch thrown by Councilman James S. Oddo, whose office helped fund and support the project. Oddo was joined by CSI President Tomas Morales, Vice-President for Student Affairs Dr. Ramona Brown, Athletic Director Vernon Mummert, and CUNYAC Executive Director Zak Ivkovic.
CSI will now await the loser of #3 Baruch vs. #4 Brooklyn, in another elimination game at 12 Noon tomorrow at the CSI Softball Complex. The winner of that game will face the winner of Baruch/Brooklyn for the first of what could be two championship games, beginning at 2pm.