In a CUNYAC doubleheader at Randall’s Island that pitted the only two remaining unbeaten teams, the College of Staten Island softball squad and Baruch College split their series, leaving both teams with identical 9-1 records in what ultimately could determine the regular season championship. Baruch came from behind to win the opener, 3-2, while CSI rallied to an 8-7 win in the second game that went 10 innings. CSI upped their overall record to 16-9 overall while Baruch is now 13-13.
The two CUNYAC heavyweights battled like it all afternoon, and CSI scored the first blow in the opener, taking a 1-0 lead in the first off of a Stefanie Solari double, scoring Victoria Procopio off of BC starter Nicole Flint. Flint would only allow a pair of hits the rest of the way, and the Bearcats got even and took the lead in the next frame on a Christine Bowman homerun off of CSI starter Procopio, scoring Courtney White, who started the frame with a single. Procopio got her way out of a jam despite giving up a walk and a double later in the frame.
In the third, CSI was then able to get even. Brittany Smith started the frame with a bunt-single, the stole second and advanced to third on a passed ball. After Flint got Procopio to fan out, Smith struck again, this time via a sac fly, to knot the score at 2-2.
Both pitchers settled from there until the fifth inning, when the Bearcats made a Flint single hurt, scoring Toniann Donde, who earlier scored a two-out double. Flint allowed just one more base runner the rest of the way, taking the complete game win, allowing just four hits while fanning four. Procopio took the loss, going the distance, allowing eight hits and a pair of walks.
CSI knew they needed to salvage at least a split to stay in contention for a CUNYAC regular season championship and a top-seed in the CUNYAC Tourney, and they engaged in a battle for Round Two.
Again CSI took the lead early, touching BC starter Flint for another first inning run, this time via error. Brittany Smith earned on via a single and after stealing second, she stole home and was able to advance home on a throwing error.
After a quiet couple of innings for CSI starter Procopio on the other side, Baruch erupted in the third. With the bases loaded and one out, Flint rocked a single to left field, scoring an immediate run to tie the score, 1-1. Procopio then walked White, allowing Baruch to take a 2-1 edge. After registering an infield fly-out, Bowman was next to the dish and smacked a two-RBI single, opening up a big, 4-1, Baruch edge.
CSI rallied back.
The Dolphins got a run back in the fourth on an Alissa Setteducato single that plated Christina Tufano, who opened the inning with a single. One inning later, a Solari double and a Maxine Jasko single plated runs, knotting the score at 4-4. The Dolphins then took control and were in the driver’s seat in the sixth. With two outs, Chyanne Gilliam doubled, and Alex Florida, who came in to pinch run, moved over to third on a Smith single, while Smith took second. Florida then scored on a passed ball and Smith moved over to third. Smith then bolted for home and was able to steal successfully, giving CSI a commanding 6-4 lead.
Down to their final six outs, BC has room for another comeback. A sac fly by Donde, and then a two-out single by Flint scored runs for Baruch in the sixth, and after six frames the ledger was even again, 6-6.
CSI went down in order in the seventh, while Baruch squandered a pair of singles and base runners in their turn. With that, the game moved into extra frames. After a scoreless eighth inning the international tie-breaker came into play, with both teams starting with a runner at second base. CSI made good in their turn of the ninth. Gilliam bunt-singled and Setteducato took third and came in to score, making it 7-6. CSI was able to get pinch runner Samantha McCauley to third, but could not register her and the game moved on to the bottom of the ninth. BC again rallied. White was sac-bunted over to third base and was brought home via a Regina Cardinale sac fly.
The game went into the 10th tied at 7-7, and that’s where CSI delivered a win. Jasko started the frame at second and was moved over to third on a Danielle Locke single. One batter later, Samantha Tallerine flied out, bringing in Jasko and making it 8-7. In the bottom of the frame, CSI came up huge in the field. Doukas started at second. Ruiz followed with a groundout to shortstop. After the throw to first was made, Doukas took off to third base, but Solari made a great throw to third, catching Doukas for the second out. After allowing a walk, Procopio got Donde to fly out giving CSI the win.
The win forced a tie at the top of the standings between the two sides at 9-1. Both teams have one more CUNYAC doubleheader to play. If both teams remain tied at season’s end then records against common non-conference opponents will determine a champion. Both teams are currently 2-2 against common foes. CSI next plays tomorrow afternoon against SUNY-Old Westbury at 1pm at the CSI Softball Complex. Baruch will also play Old Westbury, on Tuesday.