Flashback Friday looks at the top moments from the 2014-15 athletic year at the College of Staten Island.  This week we reflect on the 9th-highest moment of the past year, when sophomore pitcher Jacqueline Cautela shut down the Hunter College Hawks, helping CSI secure its third-straight CUNYAC Championship

#9 – Women’s Softball – Cautela Powers CSI Softball to CUNYAC Title
Date:  May 2, 2015
Who:  CSI Women’s Softball vs. Hunter College
Where:  CSI Softball Complex
What Happened (click links for highlights):  After pulling past John Jay College and Brooklyn College on the opening day of the double-elimination CUNYAC Championship Tournament, CSI stood poised for a repeat on May 2 on their home field.  Hunter College, the only CUNYAC school to beat CSI during the regular season, was the team that stood in their way.  Sophomore hurler Jacqueline Cautela, on the heels of a shutout win over Brooklyn the day before, however, left little to doubt.  The hurler pitched an efficient first inning, then led the bottom half of the inning off with a triple, promptly coming in to score a batter later to give CSI a 1-0 lead that it would never relinquish.  The Dolphins held a modest, 3-1, lead in the sixth inning.  There, Cautela got through a top-half of the inning jam, by fanning Nicole Filisetti, and then in the bottom half of the inning, Cautela put a punctuation mark on the game by blasting a three-run homerun to left field, her fourth of the season.  Cautela was the unanimous choice for MVP honors.  She finished 2-0 in the pitcher’s circle with a 0.50 ERA with 12 strikeouts against seven hits in 14 innings.  Senior Brittany Smith punched a single in the 5th inning, the 191st of her career and a new CSI career record.  The Championship by the Dolphins was their third straight and their 17th overall.  With the win, the team set a program high for wins in a single season with 30.

4364Looking back…with Jacqueline Cautela
The team was on a roll going into that Championship game.  How confident was the team going in to that game against Hunter?   The team’s main goal was to come out strong and score first in the Championship game. The game against Brooklyn the day before was definitely a team effort. We all came out strong and we did what we had to do to get the job done. We felt positive and confident going into the championship game. We just wanted to win it all and get that three-peat.

The day before against Brooklyn you had one of your finest outings of the season, shutting down the Bulldogs.  How did that semifinal game prepare you for the Hawks, who defeated you earlier in the year?  Pitching the way I did against Brooklyn the day before the championship game definitely brought my confidence up a lot. I felt like all my pitches were working and I was confident to throw all of them. We lost to Hunter once and we definitely did not want to lose to them again, especially in the championship. Hunter is a great team, so I know I had to be sharp in order to defeat them.

Hunter put a couple of runners on base in the first inning, but you got out of the jam and then in the bottom of the first you lead off with a triple and score on the next play.  How important was that start for the team? The most important thing in the game of softball is scoring first. Once we held them in the top of the first I knew we had to produce a run in the bottom of that inning to get on top.

What was your plan for keeping the big Hunter lineup off-balance for a majority of the game?  Hunter is a great hitting team and I knew I had to be on top of my game to defeat them. I felt confident in all of my pitches that day and all my pitches were working great. I mainly worked inside and outside with my curve and screw and threw in a couple change-ups to keep the line up off-balance.

The homerun in the sixth inning really seemed to seal the deal.  How did it feel to hit it and put the game out of reach? My main goal when I was up that at bat was to bring the runners on base home. I wanted to have a couple more insurance runs going into the last inning. I was just looking to make contact with the ball, but the fact that it went over the fence was even better. It was a great feeling and that championship game was a game I will remember forever.

Other Highlights
Game Broadcast
Staten Island Advance Article
Sights & Sounds (courtesy Jim Waggoner, Staten Island Advance)
Game Story
Postgame Interview – Stella Porto & Jacqueline Cautela
Postgame Interview – Brittany Smith
CUNYAC Championship Coverage

Brittany Smith set the all-time CSI hit record in the win.
Jacqueline Cautela is mobbed by her teammates after her sixth-inning homer.
CSI is all smiles after their 8-1 victory.  It marked CSI’s 17th CUNYAC Championship.