Staten Island, NY | In a doubleheader made up of a pair of nail-biters, the College of Staten Island earned a sweep of the College of New Rochelle taking game one by a final of 2-1 on a Patricia Riches walk-off double and game two by another razor-thin one-run margin, 5-4. The victories improved the Dolphins to 9-11 on the season and dropped CNR to 11-13.
GAME ONE: STATEN ISLAND 2, NEW ROCHELLE 1
In a matchup which saw all of the game’s scoring come in the seventh inning, the Dolphins defeated the Blue Angels in walk-off fashion 2-1. The Dolphins fell behind in the top half of the final frame after an Alison Meagher strikeout of Kiki Moots came on a wild pitch that allowed Moots to reach first base safely and for the go-ahead run to score. However, the seventh inning Dolphins rally, which consisted of a Samantha MacPherson double and two walks, culminated with a Patricia Riches game-winning RBI-double.
Alison Meagher was dominant through the first three innings, facing the minimum through that span and making quick work of the Blue Angels in the process. However, Meagher was matched by Gaby Hay in the early innings who matched the three zeros put up on the scoreboard by Meagher with three scoreless frames of her own.
Though the Dolphins were able to move a runner into scoring position in both the first and second innings, it was CNR that was able to move a runner along to third for the first time in the game during the fourth. With a runner on first, Valerie Romano crushed a two-out double into the left-center field gap which forced Claudia Porcaro to chase the ball all the way to the warning track. She came up firing to shortstop Patricia Riches who connected with a strike to home plate on the relay throw and cut down Victoria Holmes the go-ahead run at home plate for the final out of the inning.
Neither team would pick up another hit until the Dolphins threatened in their half of the fifth. An Alison Meagher single put the leadoff batter on before pinch runner Alexis Kateridge was erased on a fielder’s choice. In a case of deja-vu, it was a two-out double with a runner on first that resulted in another runner being cut down trying to score from first. This time it was the Dolphins’ Julianna Cretella trying to score from first on a Riches double to center, but she was gunned down at the plate on the relay throw from shortstop by Romano.
After another hitless inning for both sides in the sixth, the game moved on to the final stanza scoreless. In the top half of the seventh CNR got a leadoff single from Romano, who had two of the three Blue Angels base hits. She was then sacrificed to second and eventually sole third base on a pitch in the dirt. This left it to Kiki Moots who struck out on a pitch way out of the zone that got by Sierra Kaplanek and all the way to the backstop. This brought the go-ahead run home and sent the Dolphins into the bottom half of the inning down 2-1.
After Porcaro flew out to center opening up the seventh, MacPherson doubled on a shallow fly ball to right field that was nearly caught on a diving attempt by Victoria Holmes. MacPherson moved up to third on a passed ball, Meagher walked on four pitches behind her, and pinch runner Vanessa Porto stole second. With two in scoring position and one out, pinch-hitter Erica Olsen struck out swinging bringing Julianna Cretella to the plate. After a lengthy battle with Hay, Cretella drew a walk bringing Riches, the Dolphins most feared hitter, to the plate. Riches would send the Dolphins faithful away happy as she stroked the game-winning walk-off RBI-dobule into left-center scoring MacPherson and Porto to win it for CSI, 2-1.
Meagher picked up the win for the Dolphins, her fourth, while hay suffered the loss for New Rochelle despite a similarly strong effort in the circle. While the two teams combined for only nine hits, Romano had two for the Blue Angels while Riches had three and Meagher added two more for the Dolphins.
GAME TWO: STATEN ISLAND 5, NEW ROCHELLE 4
After a thrilling finish in game one, the Dolphins and Blue Angels did not disappoint with another down-to-the-wire finish in game two. The Dolphins found themselves leading 5-0 through five, but the Blue Angels responded with four in the sixth sending the game into the final inning 5-4. As rain began to fall in the top half of the final inning, CNR got back-to-back one-out singles to move the tying run into scoring position, but CSI was able to close the door on the rally and secure the one-run victory.
The Dolphins struck first in game two as Alison Meagher put a dent in the left-field scoreboard with her first home-run of the season. The Dolphins added another in the third as Riches would smack a leadoff double into left-center, advanced on a groundout and scored on a throw into center field from the catcher that was intended for the circle. CSI would make it three straight innings in the run column in the third as a double steal of second and home plated the third Dolphins making it 3-0.
CSI added two more in the fifth on a Jaclyn Kateridge RBI-single to left center which scored two more, but New Rochelle would answer back in a big way come the sixth inning. With two on and two outs in the Blue Angel’s sixth, a Holmes infield single scored the first CNR run of the game and brought up Romano with two on base. Romano proceeded to crush a three-run homer down the left field line to trim the Dolphins lead down to a single run, 5-4. The homer was followed by a walk and a single, but Kateridge was able to retire Moots and limit the damage to four.
After CSI was held scoreless in the sixth, CNR came to bat in the seventh with rain beginning to fall. With one out the Blue Angels got back to back singles, but Samantha Gutierrez was caught taking a wide turn towards third base and was thrown out at second by Cretella in right field. This denied the Blue Angels the tying run in scoring position and Hay would pop up to third to bring a dramatic afternoon of softball to a close with a 5-4 Dolphins victory.
Kateridge picked up her fourth victory in the circle, allowing 4 runs on 8 hits through seven, and Romano fell to 3-3 for New Rochelle. Antoinette Galbo, Riches, and MacPherson all contributed two hits for the Dolphins while Gutierrez had three hits of her own for CNR. In addition to her work in the circle, Romano provided the biggest blow of the game at the plate, a three-run homer to draw the Blue Angels to within one in the sixth.
CSI Softball will have four days off before there meeting with St. Joseph’s – Long Island on Friday. First pitch for game one of that doubleheader has yet to be announced. The Dolphins will then go on to play five doubleheaders from 4/23-4/28 against four non-conference opponents and Lehman College to close out the regular season.