Great Danes Split on Day Two of Puerto Rico Classico
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO-- The Great Danes split on day two of the Puerto Rico Classico in San Juan, Puerto Rico. After today, UAlbany's record stands at 10-5.
"We're doing a lot of things well and continuing to improve and we are very grateful for the chance to play some great games down here in Puerto Rico. We haven't had a lot of opportunities in practice to iron out some of the mistakes that we have been making so far this year, so right now we are just doing the best we can to make the adjustments mid game. I know that we will eventually get to where we need to be," said head coach Chris Cannata.
HOWARD (W 6-5, 8 Innings)
In the bottom of the 1st inning, the Howard Bison put the first run on the scoreboard by hitting two singles and a sacrifice ground out to 3rd base. Adding to their runs in the 3rd, Howard’s freshman, Kamryn Tillman sent a homer to left field making the score 0-2. UAlbany remained scoreless through the 4th inning, while the Bison knocked in another run (0-3).
UAlbany began to change the pace in the 5th. Kayla Bailey started the inning off with a single to third base and then stole second on a wild pitch. She advanced to third on a ground out by Aliyah Wade. Then sophomore Shaye Swiatek singled, scoring Bailey (1-3). Chelsea Henige was up next and she commanded another run by blasting a double to left field scoring Swiatek (2-3).
Not letting up in the 6th inning, the Great Danes rounded the bases three times. To lead off the inning, UAlbany had two back-to-back singles by Mackenzie Cleary and Kelly Barkevich. Freshman, Alexa Corben stepped in to pinch run for Barkevich. Donna Conrad then forced a fielder’s choice causing Cleary to be out at third base. Bailey up at the plate was then walked by Howard’s pitcher loading the bases. Taking advantage of Bison pitcher, Alexa Walker’s wild pitch, all of the Great Dane runners advanced, including Corben who crossed home plate (3-3). Next, Wade grounded out with an RBI scoring Conrad and a Bison error helped to score Bailey (5-3).
Looking to end the game in the bottom of the 7th inning with the Great Danes up 5-3, Howard hit in two runs forcing extra innings.
The Great Danes started off the 8th inning with a Kayla Bailey walk and a stolen base. Next up, Wade grounded out to the short stop advancing Bailey to third. Then, Swiatek hit a fly ball to center field, while Bailey tagged-up and took off to home plate after the ball was caught.
UAlbany held off the Bison in the bottom of the 8th inning leaving a final score of 6-5 in favor of the Great Danes.
Senior, Caitlin Cooper had her first pitching appearance and win for the 2017 season as she relieved Verdolivo after 5 innings.
FURMAN (L 1-3)
The Furman Paladins took a game from UAlbany after their defeat from the Great Danes on Friday. Furman sophomore pitcher Lindsey Bert struck out 11 Great Danes pitching a one hit game.
The Paladins were on the board first with one run in the 3rd inning from a combination of hits and a walk. Matching Furman’s run, in the top of the 5th, Chelsea Henige had the only Great Dane hit of the game which was a homer over the right field fence (1-1).
In the 6th inning, Furman scored two more runs. The Great Danes were not able to answer with their last ups in the 7th inning making the final score 1-3 in favor of Furman.
The Great Danes will face Howard tomorrow at 9 AM for the final game of the Puerto Rico Classico.