Oswego State (3-7, 1-3 SUNYAC) went winless in a doubleheader against SUNY Fredonia on Saturday in its first pair of games at Laker Softball Field this season, losing 5-2 and 8-2.
Junior Lisa O’Callaghan took the mound for the first game of the afternoon, looking to bounce back from the two losses she surrendered last weekend against SUNY Geneseo. O’Callaghan, the team leader with a 3.61 ERA in 47.1 innings, held the Blue Devils in-check early.
Her opponent in the pitching circle was Kelsey Gannett, whose 9-8 Blue Devils were riding a six-game winning streak. The SUNY Fredonia junior had accumulated 44.2 innings pitched on the season, while holding a 2.82 ERA.
The aces matched each other early with neither surrendering a run until an RBI base hit from Blue Devil junior Alyssa Morgan in the top of the third inning, following a hit by pitch by O’Callaghan to begin the frame.
The contest remained a one-run game until the fifth inning, where the Blue Devils extended their lead. The Blue Devils tacked on four more runs, set up by two errors from Laker junior shortstop Tori Trovato, with the inning being capped off by a two-run double by junior Madison Medina.
Oswego State looked to answer in the next frame, with a leadoff home run to left field from junior Jacquie Porreca, but the deficit would prove to be too much to overcome.
A two-out RBI single by Porreca again in the sixth would finish the scoring for the first game, as the Lakers would drop the contest, 5-2.
Oswego State junior Alexis Nasca toed the rubber for the second game of the afternoon. Nasca has struggled this season, allowing 12 earned runs in seven innings pitched.
Taking the mound for the Blue Devils was junior Megan Degroat, whose 5.21 ERA was not reflected by her recent performances. After allowing 12 runs in her first game of the season, Degroat had only allowed 10 earned runs in her last 22.2 innings pitched.
Nasca struggled early, surrendering two runs in the first inning off of a double by junior infielder Lindsey Forness,
Freshman Katelyn Dennis extended the SUNY Fredonia lead to three in the second, singling in outfielder Maggie Paras.
The Lakers looked to cut into the Blue Devil lead in the fourth inning as Porreca and senior Jessie Terrano led off with consecutive base hits, but the only run of the inning was the result of a sac fly by sophomore Ashley Lyman.
Nasca was lifted in the fifth inning in favor of O’Callaghan and another Forness double extended SUNY Fredonia lead to 4-1.
Defensive lapses by Oswego State in the seventh put the game, which was 4-2 to start the inning, out of reach. Three errors in the inning led to five more runs for the Blue Devils, pushing their lead to 9-2. The Lakers had no answer in their half of the inning, and dropped the second contest as well.
Oswego State head coach Kevin Ahern was happy with the performances on the mound, but insisted that defense was the culprit in both losses for the Lakers.
“Our defense has to come up big behind our pitchers,” Ahern said. “Those extra outs come back to haunt you. Fredonia put the ball in play, and that is something we are just not doing”.
One takeaway from this afternoon’s contest was the production of Porreca. Ahern sees the junior’s offensive play as a step in the right direction for his team, which has struggled thus far.
“If her bat comes alive, that is going be huge,” Ahern said. “There are about seven girls that have the potential to hit in the .300’s, and right now they are under that. We need those bats to come alive. We can pitch our hearts out, and play all the defense, it makes the game very difficult”.
The Lakers have two more chances to enter the win column on Sunday, as they face the Buffalo State Bengals in a home doubleheader, beginning at 12 p.m.