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Saxons sweep Naz in Empire 8 opener
4/03/10

HORNELL, NY – The Alfred University softball team swept a doubleheader from visiting Nazareth Saturday afternoon in the Empire 8 opener for both teams.

Junior pitcher Chelsey Carey (Corfu, NY/Pembroke) tossed a two-hit shutout in the second game, outdueling Nazareth’s Kelly Kocher for a 4-0 Saxon win. It was Cary's eighth career shutout, setting a new AU school record. She had been tied for the mark with former Saxons Brittany Curran (2003-06) and Holly Seidewand (2007-08).

In the opener, AU sophomore hurler Nicole Hedrick (Albany, NY/Catholic Central) allowed two runs (one earned) over seven innings to get the complete-game 7-2 win, and also had three hits, including a homerun and a double, drove in two runs and scored twice.

In the first game, Hedrick and Nazareth pitcher Casey Mathers threw four shutout innings each to open the game. After Hedrick pitched a scoreless fifth, Alfred (12-2, 2-0 Empire 8) plated five in the bottom of the frame. After senior centerfielder Shannon Mather (Endicott, NY/Union-Endicott) walked to open the inning, Hedrick blasted her team-leading fifth homerun over the centerfield fence. After junior first baseman Ashley Passaro (Long Beach, NY/Long Beach) hit a two-out single and senior second baseman Karen Folts (Penn Yan, NY/Penn Yan) reached on an error, freshman catcher Emily Fenton (Thorofare, NJ/West Deptford) hit her fourth homer of the year to give AU a 5-0 lead.

Nazareth scored two runs (one unearned) in the sixth when catcher Brittany Patenaude hit a two-run, bases-loaded single with no outs, but Hedrick escaped further damage by sandwiching a pair of groundouts around a strikeout. The Saxons got both runs back in the bottom of the inning. After Hedrick singled with two outs and stole second, sophomore third baseman Shanna Ewoldt (Tuscon, AZ/Waubansie Valley) drove her in with a single and advanced to second on the throw. Senior shortstop Jesika LeBarron (Campbell, NY/Corning West) drove in Ewoldt with a single.

Hedrick improved to 5-2 with the win, allowing five hits while striking out nine and walking one. Mathers allowed four earned runs in six innings, allowing 10 hits while striking out six and walking four. Leftfielder Mandy Weakley had two hits for Nazareth (5-9, 0-2 Empire 8).

In the second game, Cary improved her record to 7-0 by tossing her third shutout of the year, striking out eight and walking one. She and Kocher each pitched five scoreless innings before Alfred broke through with three in the top of the sixth. With runners on second third and one out, Folts drove in freshman pinch runner Kassandra Corsi (Willoughby, OH/Willoughby South) with a squeeze bunt. Folts was safe at first and scored on Fenton’s two-run double to make it 3-0, AU. Alfred scored a run in the seventh when Passaro’s two-out double scored Ewoldt from first.

Kocher took the loss for Nazareth, allowing four runs on six hits and striking out seven. Mathers and Kaitlin Graham each hit a single for the Golden Flyers.

Alfred is in action next on Thursday, April 8, for a 3 p.m. non-conference doubleheader at Hornell High School against visiting SUNY Oneonta.