Stony Brook (16-17-1) freshman designated player Irene Rivera drove in more than twice as many runs in Sunday’s doubleheader than Hartford (4-27) scored in the three-game weekend series.
Rivera iced the first game with a three-run double to centerfield in the sixth inning, giving Stony Brook an 8-1 lead. She then scored on sophomore Chelsea Evans’ single, giving Stony Brook a 9-1 run-rule victory.
“It’s always a good feeling to win and help the team out,” Rivera said.
Senior left-handed pitcher Jane Sallen threw five innings in the Seawolves’s victory in the first game and improved to 11-10 on the season. She allowed one run on three hits and two walks, and struck out five batters.
Stony Brook was solid defensively behind Sallen, especially in the fourth inning. Senior right fielder Kellie Reynolds threw out Hartford junior third baseman Danielle DeMarco at second base after she tried to stretch a single into a double.
“Our defense was terrific all weekend,” Stony Brook Head Coach Megan Bryant said. “It’s a big part of how this team is successful.”
Senior left fielder Diane Caruso hit a two-run home run to left center field in the second inning for the Seawolves to open the scoring on Sunday afternoon.
Hartford junior pitcher Lexi Wilkerson allowed eight earned runs on eight hits and five walks through 5.2 innings. She only struck out two batters.
The second game didn’t go much better for the Hawks. They got run-ruled for the second straight game on Sunday.
Rivera continued to dominate the afternoon with two more RBI-hits, including a fourth inning home run to center field. It was Rivera’s fifth RBI of the afternoon, which provided the Seawolves with a 6-1 lead.
“Every team needs a cleanup hitter and it’s a tough role to ask a freshman to step into,” Bryant said. “But [Rivera] certainly has the ability and she’s getting better with every game.”
Stony Brook ended the game with two more runs in the sixth. Senior pinch hitter Melissa Phelan drew an RBI walk, and senior catcher Alexandra Pisciotta ended the game with an RBI single.
“I think it was the momentum of the game and how our team was stringing hits together,” Rivera said, attributing the team’s success at the plate. “I believe if someone has a hit, it’s contagious.”
Stony Brook sophomore right-handed pitcher Maddy Neales pitched a complete game. She only allowed one run on one hit, three walks and had eight strikeouts from the circle.
The Seawolves stormed out of the gate on Hartford sophomore pitcher Bianca Ross. The team put up five runs in the second inning. Senior first baseman Kim Ragazzo, Pisciotta, Reynolds and Rivera all had RBIs during the frame.
“I thought we had a great mix today of hitting the ball hard and small ball,” Bryant said. “This is not a one-dimensional team, offensively.”
Ross got torched for seven runs (four of them earned) on nine hits and two walks in 3.1 innings.
The Seawolves have now won five games in a row and are only one win below .500. They are 6-2 in the America East conference and 7-2 at their home venue, University Field.
“We played a very tough non-conference schedule,” Bryant said. “I think we’re better right now in all phases of the game; pitching, defense, and our offensive efficiency.”
Stony Brook will go back outside of the America East conference to host Sacred Heart (9-21) in a doubleheader on Wednesday afternoon.