UAlbany Softball Sweeps Army in Regular Season Home Finale
Photo: Alexa Toole (above) hit a walk-off bunt to complete the sweep of Army on Wednesday, May 1.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- The University at Albany softball team swept their regular season home finale as they twice defeated Army on Wednesday, May 1 at Albany Field. The Great Danes scraped together two victories behind the pitching of juniors Brittany MacFawn and Emily Ostrom. Sophomore Alexa Toole was the hero in game two with a walk-off bunt in extra innings. The purple and gold improved to 4-1 in extra's this year.
UAlbany (33-12, 13-1 AE) triumphed in game one, 3-1, as MacFawn went the distance for her 27th complete game this season. A two-run fifth inning gave the Great Danes the lead and eventual victory.
After three scoreless innings, the Black Knights and UAlbany exchanged sac-fly’s to tie the game, 1-1, through four frames. Freshman Maggie Cocks hit the Great Danes' sacrifice to drive-in senior Taylor Franich. Both Franich and junior Charlise Castro had stolen bases earlier in the inning.
From there, thee Great Danes would take control. It was freshman Annie Johnson, who showed she has more than just speed. The lead-off hitter rocketed her second homer of the season to left center. A two-run dinger and eventual game-winning runs.
MacFawn struck out eight, allowing five hits, one unearned run and one walk. Sophomore Morgan Lashley (24-11) took the loss for Army (30-22, 12-8 Patriot). She went five innings, allowing two hits, striking out two and walking three.
Game two would take nine innings as UAlbany again found a way to win, 4-3. After blowing her first save of the season, MacFawn (24-6) rebounded to pitch through extra’s and record her second win of the day.
Similar to game one, the Great Danes scored three runs over two innings – one in the third and two in the fourth. First, in the third, UAlbany scored the game’s first run without recording a hit. Johnson reached on a fielder’s choice, driving-in sophomore Vicky McFarland.
The Great Danes extended their lead to 3-0 as junior Lauren Alcorn singled down the left field line to drive-in one, followed by freshman Kelly Costello hitting an RBI-double to center field . UAlbany had an opportunity to score more as they left two runners on base with one out.
Ostrom, who started game two, had left the bases loaded in the fifth inning and two-on in the third. She was finally touched for runs as two crossed the plate for Army in the top of the sixth. Freshman Bernadette Cardon hit a two-run double to bring the Black Knights back in striking range.
MacFawn looked to close the game in the final frame, but could not. A Castro fielding error scored freshman Christian McKone, tying the game 3-3. The game remained at three until the bottom of the ninth. It was Toole’s walk-off bunt that gave UAlbany the victory. It was her only hit on the day. She scored Costello.
Ostrom went six innings, allowing two runs and striking out one. MacFawn went three innings, striking out three. Her 11 strikeouts on the day put her four away from Casey Halloran’s 252 single-season K record. Braetana Roy (4-9) went 8.1 innings for Army. She allowed three earned runs, walking five and striking out four.
“We had excellent pitching today and manufactured runs at the right time,” said head coach Chris Cannata. “We need to continue to work on our hitting and giving our pitchers more run support heading into the weekend.”
UAlbany and Binghamton, who are currently separated by a half game in the conference standings, play a series for the No. 1 seed and 2013 America East Conference Tournament hosting rights. They play a doubleheader on Saturday, May 4 followed by a third game on Sunday, May 5. First pitch set for 1:00 p.m. and noon, respectively.