SOFTBALL GOES 1-1 ON LAST DAY AT SPRING GAMES

Winter Haven, Fla. – The Le Moyne College softball team went 1-1 on their final day of play at the Spring Games in Winter Haven, Fla. Le Moyne lost a pitching duel to Shepherd University in their first game of the day by a score of 1-0.

Second-year right-hander Laura Bennett (Corning, NY/Corning-Painted Post) pitched all seven innings and allowed just five hits and one run while recording seven strikeouts. Although the ‘Phins couldn’t get a run on the board in Game 1, it wasn’t due to a lack of hard ball hitting. The ‘Phins only hit home plate twice in the first seven innings of the day and consistently squared the ball from the start, but had no luck finding holes in the field of play, and the Rams played some great defense.

The ‘Phins got off to a good start in Game 2, scoring four points in the lead of 1stand used that momentum to earn a 7-4 win over Wayne State University.

“One of the toughest demands we make of our student-athletes in the sport of softball is to bounce back from a loss in the first half of a doubleheader twenty minutes after it happens. When you play 10 games in 7 days you naturally have highs We came out strong today after losing two tough games yesterday, and although the hits didn’t find the holes in Game 1, we remained focused on the home plate and we managed to pull off a win. played 14 good innings of softball today and had a very productive week overall,” said Le Moyne head coach Tracey Roman after today’s games.

Second-year right-hander Lindsey Dobbs (Schenectady, NY/Colony) started Game 2 in the circle against Wayne State and gave the ‘Phins a solid 4.2 innings, struggling through the tough times and getting big outs when she needed it.

First year right hander Julia Panarella (Southington, Conn./Southington) pitched the final 2.1 innings for Le Moyne to earn the stoppage.

Both Alyssa Dybacz (Baldwinsville, NY/Charles W. Baker) and Mckenzie Bergdoll (Attleboro, Mass./Attleboro) swung scorching bats at the Spring Games, and the two continued their plate production in the Phins’ final game of the week. Bergdoll and Dybacz each went 3-4 with a run scored and an RBI against the Warriors of Wayne State.

At the moment, Dybacz seems unable to step up to the plate and do anything but send the ball downfield. Even his outs have been impressive this week.

Dybacz finished the Spring Games 15-29 from home plate with two home runs, two doubles, one stolen base, eight RBIs and six runs scored. If there’s a player in the NE10 with a hotter bat right now, I’d love to see her play.

The pitching duel between Bennett and Shepherd University starting right Hannah Ruffner was a sight if you’re a fan of big defensive play.

Early in the first inning, Shepherd’s double hitter blasted the ball to the left side of the infield in foul territory. Le Moyne third baseman Mckenzie Konik (Scotia, NY/Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake) followed the ball to the fence and caught it just as his body hit the galvanized steel for the number of them.

Le Moyne lost 1-2-3 in the end of 1stbut all three ‘Phins hit the ball hard in the field of play. Le Moyne continued to make solid contact in the 2n/a inning.

Dybacz hit a missile straight to the right fielder for an out, then Bergdoll hit a chopper hard at third on which outfielder Shepherd made a good play for number two. Dominique Rinaldi (Sayville, NY/Sayville) came next in the inning, and the freshman shortstop hit a rocket to the first base line, but Shepherd’s first baseman caught the line over his head for third out of the inning.

Shepherd put the runners in second and third with two outs to the top of 3rd, then Bennett downed the next batter in a 1-2 count. Bennett’s 1-2 pitch was an unpleasant change that was swung and missed for the innings finale.

At the bottom of the 4andjunior center player Isabelle Boudreau (Memramcook, New Brunswick/Mathieu-Martin/Pace) threw a perfect curry on the first base line. Once Shepherd’s infield realized he had no chance of throwing Boudreau, he let the ball go, hoping it would roll as a foul. The yellow ball sat on the chalk and stayed in fair territory, giving the ‘Phins their first baserunner of the afternoon.

Senior receiver CJ Barrett lined up at shortstop, then Boudreau was caught stealing second on the next at-bat, disrupting any chance the ‘Phins had of getting the first run at the picture.

Bennett gave up a first top-5 singleand, then threw another nasty 1-2 change to record a strikeout. Bennett cut the next batter 0-2 and returned to the substitution. The batter was far ahead and hit a dribbler directly at Bennett, who threw the first for number two. Bennett got a fly ball to end the inning.

The Rams got their game-winning run in the top-6and via a first brace, a sacrificial bunt and an RBI single to center field.

Bennett recorded a pop-up in the field and a strikeout to end the inning with no further damage.

Senior outfielder Taylor Cox (Neversink, NY/Tri-Valley Secondary School) hit a two-out single to right field at the top of the 6andbut Ruffner got a ground ball to end the inning.

Junior left fielder Dominique Russo (Hopewell Junction, NY / John Jay) prepared for a highlight dive catch in foul territory for the first of 7and inning. The Rams put a runner in scoring position with one out in the inning, but Bennett got a strikeout and a fly-out to put the bats back in the hands of the Dolphins, down 1-0.

Barrett led the bottom of the 7andand smoked the ball through the middle, directly at the Shepherd defender, which was quite emblematic of how the ‘Phins’ opener of the day went.

Dybacz hit a hard ground ball to second base for the game finale.

The ‘Phins found holes in Game 2.

Boudreau hit a ground fly ball to the left side of the infield to take the lead of 1st against Wayne State, but the Warriors first baseman couldn’t handle the throw, and Boudreau reached safely.

Barrett hit a ground ball in the middle, then Brooke Nicholas (Liverpool, NY/Cicero-North Syracuse) hit a hard ground fly ball to the left side that went past the third baseman, causing Boudreau to score. Barrett rounded third and also headed home, but the outfield throw-in beat her to the plate, and she was tagged for number one.

Dybacz hit a line drive past the right fielder, moving Nicolaos to third. Bergdoll and Frankie Larobardiere (North Syracuse, NY/Cicero-North Syracuse/Onondaga CC) hit back-to-back RBI singles in center field to put the ‘Phins up 3-0, then Bergdoll came home to score on a first-and-third flight game.

The Warriors put a runner in third with two outs late in 1st. Dobbs got a slow ground ball on the third base line. Larobardière charged the ball and fired a laser to first that beat the runner by a pitch to end the inning and prevent the runner on third from scoring.

Wayne State put the runners in second and third with two outs in the bottom of 2n/a, and Dobbs fell in a 3-0 count at the next batter. The second-year right-hander fought back, throwing two straight strikes to complete the count, then got a ground ball to end the inning.

Ruczynski hit a two-run homer for Wayne State in the bottom of 3rd round to halve the Warriors deficit, but Le Moyne salvaged the two points at the top of the 4and.

Russo hit a one-out blooper in shallow center field, then Boudreau dropped a nice bunt in front of the plate. When Boudreau’s bat made contact with the ball, Russo took second place. As the entire defense rushed to prevent Boudreau’s bunt single, third base was wide open. Russo saw the play unfold and didn’t break stride as she spun second and sprinted to the next open sack. Wayne State’s right fielder and several infielders tried to pick up and beat her there, but Russo was too quick and slipped into third seed first. A few heads high from Boudreau moved her up to second as a trail runner on the play.

With runners second and third with one out, Barrett did his job, hitting a ground fly out to the right side to drive Russo and advance Boudreau to third. Boudreau scored on a wild pitch to make it 6-2 in favor of Le Moyne.

Wayne State got a run down the 4and to make 6-3.

At the bottom of the 5and, the Warriors had runners at first and second with zero outs. During the next at-bat, Myers returned a line drive to Dobbs, who quickly reacted to grab the ball and immediately threw it to first base for the double play. The Warriors earned a run during the inning to make it 6-4, but Panarella came in and got a ground ball to end the set.

Boudreau tied on balls in the top 6and, then goes second on a bad throw. A hard-ground ball to the right side of the infield from CJ Barrett’s bat moved Boudreau to third.

Dybacz came next to the plate. On her first two at bats of the game, the Wayne State pitcher pitched it with an off-speed pitch, weary of Dybacz’s hot bat. Perhaps in an effort to keep Dybacz off balance, the pitcher went with a first-pitch fastball in the top of the 6.and. Dybacz jumped on the fastball from the first pitch and dropped it into middle and center field to drive Boudreau and make it 7-4′ Phins.

At the bottom of 6and, Wayne State’s first two hits of the inning resulted in fly balls into shallow right field. Both times, Cox (right fielder) and Nicolaos (second baseman) showed excellent communication. Cox, who was heading for the ball, canceled out his second baseman both times and recorded back-to-back outs to start the inning. Cox slipped and made a great play for the second of his 6and sleeve exits.

Panarella recorded two strikeouts in the bottom of 7and to complete the save and secure victory for the ‘Phins!

Le Moyne ended his Spring Games trip with a 6-4 record and will be back in action on Saturday, March 26 when he travels to Bentley University for a doubleheader against the Falcons.

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