Softball sweeps doubleheader

Freshman shortstop Tori Torvato swings at a pitch during the Lakers’ doubleheader sweep of SUNY Fredonia on Saturday. Oswego State won 11-10 and 5-4. (Photo provided by Chuck Perkins Photography)
Freshman shortstop Tori Torvato swings at a pitch during the Lakers’ doubleheader sweep of SUNY Fredonia on Saturday. Oswego State won 11-10 and 5-4. (Photo provided by Chuck Perkins Photography)

The Oswego State softball team swept a twin bill from SUNY Fredonia on Saturday in dramatic fashion, winning the first game 11-10 and the nightcap 5-4. Junior third baseman and team captain Dee Apps led the Lakers, going a combined 5-for-7 with five RBI.

Apps’ biggest hit came in the final at-bat of the opening game. After the Blue Devils (5-4, 2-6 SUNYAC) scored two runs in the top of the seventh to tie the game at 10, the Lakers (5-9, 2-2 SUNYAC) answered back with a run of their own to win in walk-off fashion. Apps stepped to the plate with the bases loaded, one out and singled to bring home junior second baseman Katie Bredin to seal the win for Oswego State.

The Lakers came out strong in the bottom half of the seventh prior to Apps’ game-winning hit. Freshman shortstop Tori Trovato led off with a single, followed by a walk to Bredin. Junior centerfielder Sammie Schroeter then hit a ball to third that was misplayed, allowing everyone to move up safely. Senior catcher Brooke Radley came to bat with a chance to win the game but hit a grounder to third, which resulted in a force-out at home. Apps followed up with the game-winner.

“When I went up to bat, my goal was just to hit the ball hard,” Apps said. “With Katie Bredin on third, who has a lot of speed, I knew I just needed to get the ball in play and it would be hard to get her out. I figured the first pitch would probably be the best pitch I would see, so I went after it.”

Despite giving up the tying runs in the top of the inning, the Lakers were confident in their ability to win the game.

“There was definitely some nerves and anxiety, but we had been hitting very well the whole game, so there was also plenty of confidence that we could pull through,” Schroeter said. “We’re all confident in each other to individually execute when we’re under pressure like that.”

The Oswego State offense got off to a fast start, scoring three runs in the first, one in the second and another three in the third. Overall, the Lakers tallied 15 hits. Their defense left something to be desired, as they committed three errors, which led to four unearned runs for Fredonia.

Freshman pitcher Alexis Nasca pitched a complete game for Oswego State, going seven innings and giving up eight hits, 10 runs, six earned, while walking seven and striking out three in her first win of the season. She also contributed offensively, hitting a home run: a solo shot in the bottom of the third.

In the following game, the Lakers once again got off to a hot start offensively, striking for two runs in the first inning. Schroeter drove in the first run with an RBI double and later scored on a single by Apps.

Fredonia was able to tie up the game in the top of the fourth on a two-run home run by freshman left fielder Izzy Simon. Oswego State retook the lead in the bottom of the inning on a two-run single from Trovato. Freshman pinch-runner Jessie Terrano extended the lead when she scored on a wild pitch in the sixth.

The Lakers entered the top of the seventh leading by three, and nearly gave up another late lead. After a strikeout to begin the inning, senior captain and pitcher Sarah Thayer walked the following batter and hit the next hitter with a pitch. Freshman second baseman Alyssa Morgan followed up with a two-run double to bring the Blue Devils within one run. Thayer then settled down, retiring the final two batters.

The Lakers said that despite the scare, the team had confidence that it would hold on for the win.

“I remember personally feeling nervous about the second game, only because Fredonia was hungry to come back and take the second game from us,” Shroeter said. “But again, we have confidence in each other to pull through when we know we can win. The atmosphere of the game becomes intense and it’s a feeling that I’ve noticed the girls thrive off of.”

“I knew Fredonia was going to put up a fight in the end,” Apps said. “We just needed to make plays and I was confident that we had that game.”

Thayer went the distance for the Lakers, earning the win after seven innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and three walks with five punchouts. Her counterpart, senior pitcher Alyssa Brognano, also threw a complete game, allowing five runs on nine hits and two walks with four strikeouts.

Trovato went 6-for-8 with a run scored and four RBI combined in both games. Schroeter with 4-for-8 with three runs and an RBI.

“I feel confident in my ability to get on base, whether it’s with just a walk, or with a hit or bunt,” Schroeter said. “I have been working on disciplining myself and getting deep into the count. I am allowing myself to see more pitches and picking the ones that I like.”

Overall, the Lakers went 24-for-62 in the doubleheader, which equals out to a .387 batting average.

“I feel like we played very aggressively,” Shroeter said. “Offensively, we knew what we needed to do and for the most part, everyone worked together to score the runs.”

Oswego State will return to action on Saturday in a doubleheader at SUNY Potsdam (6-10, 0-8 SUNYAC) beginning at noon. The team will return home on Tuesday for a doubleheader against Wells College (3-5) at 3:30 p.m.

“We need to keep our bats rolling and defensively making plays,” Apps said. “If we do that, we should have a strong rest of the season.”

Some members of the team believe that the Lakers will be in the mix when the postseason arrives.

“I expect we’ll make the post-season at the very least,” Shroeter said. “We’re very determined to win the SUNYAC tournament. I think after our battles with Cortland and Brockport last year in the post-season, the returners know what needs to be done to win and are determined to go farther, while the freshmen are eager to start their college careers with a championship under their belts. All in all, the whole team is willing to do anything we can to win.