By Najib Aminy
The Stony Brook Softball team roared its way past the Boston University Terriers and the Albany Great Danes to win their very first American East Conference Championship on Saturday, May 10. Shutting out Boston 3-0 in their first game of championship play, the Seawolves faced Albany, the three-year conference championship holder and host team.
The last time Albany and Stony Brook met, the Seawolves improved their record to two wins, ultimately winning the series 2-1. History has a tendency to repeat it self as Albany lost their first game of championship play to Stony Brook, 7-2. Stony Brook took an early lead scoring five runs in the first three innings of play as Albany failed to produce any runs courtesy of sophomore Alyssa Struzenberg’s (Cooper City, FL) pitching and Stony Brook’s defensive play.
Stony Brook disgraced Albany’s pitching with two single home runs, one by junior second baseman Molly Kestranek (St. Mary’s, GA) in the second and junior center fielder Kelsi Fanelli’s (Audobon, NJ) home run blast during the bottom of the fourth. Albany cycled through three different pitchers who pitched about two innings each giving up about two runs each. Struzenberg, who was named named the American East Conference pitcher of the year, maintained composure pitching all seven innings. She was a recorded five strikeouts and managed to eclipse Albany’s total of four strikeouts amongst their three pitchers.
After the loss, Albany would drop down to play the winner of the “Loser’s Bracket” and won that game only to face Stony Brook in the American East Championship game. Again, Stony Brook, literally stepped up to the plate. They brought the game home with Struzenberg’s pitching, defensive play courtesy of senior right fielder Ashley Westphal (Huntington Beach, CA), sophomore left fielder Crista Cerrone (Floral Park, NY), and sophomore shortstop Vicki Kavitsky (Cherry Hill, NJ).
Offensively, junior first baseman Marissa Fleury (Mahopac, NY) and sophomore catcher Jade Clare (Federal Way, WA) hit their way past Albany helping Stony Brook win, 4-0. Fleury’s solo home run broke the scoreless stalemate during the second inning only paving the path for Clare’s three run homerun during the bottom of the fourth securing the win for Stony Brook.
With the shutout, the Seawolves won their first America East Conference Championship and have earned an automatic bid into the NCAA Softball Championships. The Seawolves are set to play Arizona State Sun Devils, ranked second in the nation and seated sixth in the conference due to their schedule. Arizona State is favored to win the NCAA championships because they have the nation’s strongest offensive and pitching unit. Included in Stony Brook’s bracket are Mississippi State (40-20) and Hawaii (38-18). The Seawolves will play the Sun Devils at 9 PM eastern time under the lights at Arizona State on Friday, May 16. Arizona State is 56-5 and Stony Brook is 33-22-1.
And now, The Stony Brook Press presents a congratulatory poem by Najib Aminy. Please enjoy!
Oh, how fun
Now you are champions
And you have won
You hit homeruns
You hit them far
Good job girls
You are each a superstar
One strike here
You scored some runs
Some outs there
And Albany was done
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