Tuesday, April 28, 2009

University of Albany Softball Sweeps Siena College, 5-0 & 11-2, Extending Albany Cup Lead To 7-0 In 2009 - UAlbany Sports 2009

University of Albany Softball Sweeps Siena College, 5-0 & 11-2, Extending Albany Cup Lead To 7-0 In 2009.

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Meagan Butsch hit two home runs and Marissa Powell picked up a pair of wins in the circle to lead the UAlbany softball team to a doubleheader sweep of crosstown-rival Siena by scores of 5-0 and 11-2 in six innings on Tuesday, April 28. The Great Danes won all four meetings between the clubs this spring and outscored the Saints, 20-2, in the home-and-home series.

In game one, Butsch started off the fourth by lining a hard single to left and stealing second base. After Jess Bergin drew a walk, both runners advanced another base by successfully completing a double steal. On the next play, Gina Mason was hit by a pitch to load the bases with nobody out.

Kat Smith, who was making her 64th consecutive start, plated Butsch on a bloop single to right, but a crazy sequence of events led to the first out. The ball was thrown back to pitcher Amanda Filippazzo in the circle, and Smith made an attempt to take second. Mason was caught in a rundown by the shortstop between second and third, and Smith made it back to first safely to put runners on the corners for Michelle Connors. The junior then hit a sacrifice fly to score Bergin from third before the final out was recorded on the next play with the Great Danes ahead by two.

UAlbany, which stole six bases in the opener, doubled its lead in the bottom of the fifth. Kristine Bill led off and fell into an 0-2 hole, but the sophomore was able to battle back and draw a walk. Andrianna Walraven then hit a routine grounder to Filippazzo, but an error by the shortstop on an attempt to punch out Bill allowed both runners to reach safely. Nicole Kothe advanced the runners on a sacrifice bunt, and Butsch’s sacrifice fly scored Bill. Bergin followed up with a single past the shortstop to score Walraven, and the frame ended with UAlbany leading by four runs.

Marissa Powell took a perfect game into the bottom of the fifth, but it was broken up on an infield single by Jamie Piela on the first play. The junior recovered by inducing a flyout and striking out the next two batters to keep Siena (11-28) off the scoreboard.

After Piela retired the Great Danes in order, the Saints greatest threat to rally came in the bottom of the sixth. Nastasha Powlowsky reached on an infield error to start the inning, and made it to second safely on a fielder’s choice. A single by Jenny McNulty loaded the bases, but Powell eventually got out of the jam by forcing the last hitter to fly out to Stephanie Talerico in left. A solo shot to center by Meagan Butsch in the top of the seventh sealed the final outcome of game one.

UAlbany’s Powell went the distance and improved to 14-9 at the time with the two-hit shutout victory. She recorded seven strikeouts and did not issue any walks. Siena’s Filippazzo dropped to 5-12 in the losing effort. She surrendered five hits, four runs (two earned), issued three walks and failed to strike out any batters in five innings of work. Piela relieved Filippazzo in the sixth. She struck out three and gave up one hit and one run which was earned on Butsch’s blast over the fence.

Walraven took the first pitch of the nightcap to right center for a triple, and she came home on the next play due to a wild throw by pitcher Courtney Brinkman. Butsch then blasted a shot over the fence for her second home run of the day to extend the lead to three runs before an out could be recorded, but Brinkman was able to keep the Great Danes off the scoreboard the rest of the way.

A solo home run by Walraven in the top of the fourth gave the Great Danes a 4-0 lead, and Connors hit a RBI single to extend the team’s lead to five one inning later. Siena was able to take advantage of a wild pitch and a passed ball to plate two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Bushel came home on a passed ball, and Alyssa Sceppaguercio scored when McNulty grounded out to third.

However, UAlbany got the runs back when Mason hit a two-RBI double to deep left in the sixth inning. A single to left by Katie Wambold on the next play plated Mason to give the club an 8-2 advantage. After Kayla Cilley was hit by a pitch, Liz Noto, who was making her first career start, broke the game open with her first career home run to cap the six-run frame. Powell retired the side in the bottom half of the inning, and UAlbany came away with the win due to the eight-run rule.

“I was worried about protecting since I had two strikes on me,” explained Noto. “The moment I made contact, I knew it was going to at least be a hard hit. I felt fine going around first and second. When I saw my third base coach (Joe Reardon), I lit up. Words can’t explain how I feel right now.”

Powell improved to 15-9 this season with the victory. She yielded five hits, two runs (one earned) and did not issue a walk for the second straight game. Powell also fanned five hitters.

“I am pitching with more confidence, “ said Powell, who has won 13 of her last 15 decisions. “We are starting to gel as a team, so I am feeling more comfortable. I know I can count on them for run support, so that makes me feel more relaxed in the circle.”

Brinkman, who pitched the first and reentered in the sixth, fell to 5-8 with the loss. She gave up eight hits and was tagged for nine runs (eight earned) while striking out one in two innings of work. Piela pitched four innings, surrendering four hits, two runs which were earned and issuing one walk. She also recorded three strikeouts.

“We are looking to build momentum going into our big weekend against Stony Brook,” said head coach Chris Cannata. “We worked on the things we needed to work on, Marissa did a great job in the circle to hold their offense in check and we really hit the ball well.”

UAlbany (33-12), which finished the year a perfect 10-0 against Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference opponents, returns to action on Wednesday, April 29 to host Bryant University. The doubleheader is slated to begin at 3 p.m.


UAlbany 000 220 1 5 6 1
Siena 000 000 0 0 2 1

UAlbany: Marissa Powell and Kat Smith, Liz Noto (6).
Siena: Amanda Filippazzo, Jamie Piela (6) and Nastasha Powlowsky.

UAlbany (33-12) 300 116 11 12 0
Siena (11-28) 000 020 2 5 5

(game was called after the sixth due to the eight-run rule)

UAlbany: Marissa Powell and Liz Noto.
Siena: Courtney Brinkman, Jamie Piela (2), Brinkman (6) and Natasha Powlowsky.

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