POSTGAME INTERVIEWS | GAME VIDEO – The College of Staten Island softball team lived up their No. 1 seeding in the 2017 CUNYAC Postseason Softball Championship this afternoon, beating both Baruch College and Lehman College today to advance to the CUNYAC Championship game tomorrow afternoon at the CSI Softball Complex. First, the Dolphins defeated Baruch College, 5-0, breaking a program record for wins in a season with 32, and then, after Lehman defeated Hunter College, the Dolphins then defeated Lehman, 9-0, in a shortened four innings to conclude their day.
In the opener, the Dolphins gave the ball to pitcher Nicolette Trapani and the junior got in a bit of a jam in the first inning against the Bearcats, giving up a walk and then an infield single. But with runners on the corners, Trapani would get out of the jam via a sacrifice bunt and a strikeout of Olivia Dellston.
CSI proceeded to load the bases in their turn of the first thanks to a pair of walks issued to Jacqueline Cautela and Patricia Riches and a hit-by-pitch to Antoinette Galbo by BC starting pitcher Juliann Gross. Despite that, CSI could not score as Gross struck out Vanessa Jioia and then induced two pop outs to end the frame. In the second, it happened again, this time when CSI loaded the bags with just one out. This time with the bases loaded, Baruch got a force out at home and fly ball out to end the threat.
In the third inning, however, CSI got the break it needed when Jioia got the pitch she needed when she roped a ball over the left field wall to give CSI a 1-0 advantage to lead things off. Little did CSI know that was all they would need as Trapani would not yield a hit past the third inning in this one. Still, CSI got some valuable insurance in the fifth inning.
There, Patricia Riches started with an infield single, her 64th hit of the season and a new CSI single season record. After two outs, Ashley Notaro smacked a ball into right-center for an RBI triple. Notaro then raced home on a Jamie Holmes single to make it 3-0. The lead would double an inning later, when Riches laced a single through the middle for an RBI scoring Cautela, and then Riches would come in later on a Jioia double helped along by a BC error.
Up 5-0, a confident Trapani induced a groundout, fly out and strikeout to end the seventh and give CSI the big opening win.
Trapani got the two-hit, complete game shutout, fanning six while walking one. Gross took the loss, giving up five runs (four earned) on 10 hits. CSI got two hits each from Riches, Jioia, and Holmes.
In an unexpected second matchup, CSI took on Lehman College, which earlier scored a 4-1 win over No. 2 seed Hunter College. The Dolphins would send Alison Meagher to the circle, fresh off of a hospital visit after being struck in the hand by an errant ball during pre-game warmups. Still, the sophomore proved able and gave the Dolphins a strong performance while the rest of the unit hummed offensively.
Lehman registered first by notching a run in the first as a Caitlin Vernon sac fly scored Maranda Diaz who earned on via an infield single to start the game earlier. Meagher got out of the inning from there, and in their turn of the first, CSI answered nicely.
First, Cautela earned a walk, and advanced all the way to third on a single and fielder’s choice. With two out, Kristy Colangelo lasered a single through the right side to score Cautela and make it 1-1. The lead would hold into the second, but CSI would touch LC starter Yaidee Nieves for four more tallies in the second. Cautela highlighted it with a two-run triple that would score Julianna Cretella and Trapani. Cautela then came in on a Galbo bunt single. After Galbo took second via steal, she was plated by a Riches single to make it 5-1 after two frames.
After a quiet third, the Dolphins volcano erupted again. With the bases loaded, Colangelo ripped a two-RBI single. Later in the frame, Jioia would race in on a passed ball and Holmes hit a sac fly to score Colangelo to make it 9-1.
Up by the requisite eight runs to trigger the mercy rule, Lehman had their last hacks in the fifth but could not muster much, as Meagher fanned two batters in the frame to end the game. Meagher went five innings, allowing the lone run on two hits fanning six. Nieves gave up 9 earned on 9 hits walking five. CSI got two hits each from Cautela, Galbo and Colangelo.
The wins by CSI lifted the team to 33-7 overall, a program all-time best. The two CUNYAC postseason wins now gives them 14 in a row in the CUNYAC Playoffs dating back to 2013. The Dolphins will await the winner of No. 2 Hunter vs. No. 3 Lehman for the CUNYAC Championship. Those two teams play at 11:00am tomorrow. Whoever CSI plays, that team will have to beat CSI twice to secure the Championship, while CSI need only win one tomorrow to secure the title.