The College of Staten Island softball squad kicked off the 2016 CUNYAC Championship Tournament with an 8-0 win over fifth seeded Lehman College.  The Dolphins would then have to wait until the final game of the afternoon to take on Hunter College, a team they split with during the regular season.  CSI would score two early runs to lift them past their rival Hawks and stay undefeated on the day.  Hunter will now have to play the 10:30 am game tomorrow against Baruch College, who they beat 8-0 earlier in the day, to get a rematch against the Dolphins in the final.  The pair of wins for the Dolphins would move them to 24-12 overall.

Jacqueline Cautela would finish the day, 1-for-5 with two RBIs, a walk, two runs, and a home run. Christina Tufano went 2-for-4 and scored a run and collected an RBI on the day.  Chyanne Gilliam was in the groove today and finished the pair of games 3-for-4 with a run but was extremely active in right field and was able to make all of the plays when called upon.

Game 1: No. 1 Staten Island 8, No. 5 Lehman College 0 (5 inn.)

Cautela would get the start in the circle for the first game of the day and would throw a no-hitter against the Lightning while tallying 13 strikeouts, which ties a season high.

The Dolphins would have no issue getting in their zone and would put up a single run in the first inning after Cautela would strikeout the first two batters.  Cautela would walk the third batter which would turn out to be the only Lehman player to reach a bag in this game.  Antoinette Galbo would record the final out when she caught a pop up.  Meghan Bravo seemed to have issues controlling her pitches early on in this game, and didn’t seem to be on the same page as her catcher Natasha Minier.  Galbo was the first to take advantage of the miscues and score on a passed ball after reaching first on a single through the left side.

Staten Island would follow up their first inning run with three more in the second inning. Gilliam hit a leadoff triple to right center which ignited the Dolphins’ dugout.  Nicolette Trapani was signaled to lay down a sacrifice bunt to initial the squeeze play, however she safely reached first on an error by Yzaira Galan who bobbled the ball at third base.  Ashley Notaro would battle at the plate before hitting a sacrifice fly to right field to give the Dolphins the first run of the inning after scoring Gilliam.  Cautela would help her own cause in this inning by hitting her second home run of the season.  Cautela waited for her pitch and belted one over the center field wall to increase the Dolphins’ lead to 4-0

Lehman College was finally able to stop the Dolphins from scoring in the third inning but that would only fuel the Dolphins more.  CSI would score four runs in the bottom of the fourth which activated the mercy rule as the Lightning were unable to figure out Cautela and get on the scoreboard.  The fourth inning was troublesome for the Lighting, they would commit two costly errors which allowed the Dolphins to advance through their lineup and keep the inning alive.

CSI would win the game 8-0 which would be their 13th shutout of the season.

The win would move the Dolphins to 23-12 overall and increase Cautela’s record to 12-6 on the year.

Game 2: No. 1 Staten Island 2, No. 2 Hunter College 0

A rematch of last year’s final was on display in the night cap of the opening day of the CUNYAC Championship Tournament.  The Dolphins squared off against the Hawks in last year’s final and would be crowned CUNYAC Champions for the third year in a row after an 8-1 victory.  This year the Dolphins and Hawks split during the regular season with each squad recording a 3-1 victory.

Trapani would get the nod for game two and would put on a show from the circle.  Trapani was able to shutout their CUNYAC rivals to record the 14th shutout of the season for the Dolphins, all while striking out five batters and allowing just five hits. 

The Dolphins were able to get on the scoreboard early which would prove to be enough as both teams became stingy as the game went on. Galbo would pick the Dolphins up with her second triple of the year after Taylor Crofts, last year’s CUNYAC Player of the Year, was playing too shallow in centerfield and watched the ball fly over her head.  Galbo wouldn’t have to wait long to be brought home as Tufano would hit a sacrifice fly to right field which allowed Galbo to race home and beat the tag for the game’s first run.
Gilliam would once again get the Dolphins rolling with a leadoff triple to right center again.  Nicole Meliak would not waste that triple, and would single up the middle to bring home Gilliam for what would be the game’s final run.

The Dolphins would not record a run for the rest of the game as Hunter’s defense would tighten up and not allow extra base hits. Staten Island’s defense would become a bit sloppy in the fifth inning, an inning in which they would commit three errors.  The Dolphins would come out of that inning unscathed however, after a heads up play by Vanessa Joia who threw out Stevie Rae Micheli at third base.

After that scare CSI would pull in the reigns and retire the last six Hawks in order to put them in tomorrow’s final.

CSI improved to 24-12 overall with the win over the Hawks and move Trapani to 12-4 overall on the year.

The Dolphins will now take on the winner of the Baruch vs Hunter game which will be played tomorrow morning at 10:30am at the CSI Softball Complex.