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Rain, wind halt Empire 8 softball title game
5/08/10

ALFRED, NY – Rain and heavy gusting wind forced the suspension of Saturday afternoon’s Empire 8 Conference softball championship game between Ithaca and host Alfred University. Officials stopped the game with Alfred batting in the top of the third and two outs, with the score tied 2-2. The contest will resume Sunday, May 9, at 2 p.m. at Alfred State College.

(Note: Originally, the suspended game between Ithaca and Alfred Saturday afternoon was scheduled to resume Sunday, May 9, at 11 a.m. However, poor weather overnight pushed the resumption of the game back to 2 p.m.)

Ithaca and AU are battling for the Empire 8 tournament crown; the winner gets the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division III championships. Ithaca, which has one loss in the double-elimination tournament, needs to beat top-seeded AU twice on Sunday.

Earlier in the day Saturday, second-seeded Ithaca beat third-seeded St. John Fisher, 7-3, in an elimination game. Ithaca pitcher Alyssa Brook (Tinton Falls, NJ) tossed her second strong game in as many days, allowing three runs (one earned) on four hits and striking out four for the complete-game win. Brook threw a no-hitter Friday afternoon in a 2-0 elimination-game win over the fourth seed, RIT.

Ithaca led 5-0 after scoring three in the top of the third and a pair in the fourth. Fisher answered with three in the bottom of the fourth before Ithaca tacked on single runs in the fifth and sixth innings. The game was plagued by miscues, as Ithaca made four errors and Fisher three. Of the 10 runs scored in the game, seven were unearned.

Ithaca junior Kerry Barger (Carmel, NY) went 3-for-4 with a double, run scored and an RBI. Sophomore Annemarie Forenza (Whitehouse Station, NJ) had two hits, including a double, and scored a run. Juniors Kait Dolan (Farmington, NY) and Brittany Lillie (Honeoye Falls, NY) and senior Cait Ryan (Clarksburg, NJ) all had a hit, scored a run and drove one in. Freshman Jennifer Biondi (Denville, NJ) hit a double and scored a run for the Bombers (28-13).

Sophomore Carissa Carlson (Little Genesee, NY) went 1-for-3 with an RBI and freshman Kayla Goodberlet (Columbus, OH) had a hit and scored a run for Fisher (25-18). Freshman pitcher Sarah Stefanon (Perry, NY) took the loss for Fisher, allowing six runs (two earned) on eight hits over four innings. Junior Michelle Krier (Kenmore, NY) pitched the final three innings and allowed an unearned run on one hit.

In the AU-Ithaca game, Alfred (34-4) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. With two outs and the bases empty, senior Jesika LeBarron (Campbell, NY) worked a walk off Ithaca starter Lillie, then scored on a double by junior Ashley Passaro (Long Beach, NY). Senior Karen Folts (Penn Yan, NY/Penn Yan) then drove Passaro home with an RBI single. Brook replaced Lillie in the second and retired the Saxons in order, striking out a pair.

The Bombers tied the game up in the bottom of the frame. Freshman Molly O’Donnell (Niskayuna, NY) led off with a double and after a groundout, scored when junior Allison Greaney (Iselin, NY) reached on a fielder’s choice. Greaney advanced to second on an error and Forenza drove her home with a single. Junior Chelsey Cary (Corfu, NY) relieved AU starter, sophomore Nicole Hedrick (Albany, NY) with two outs and retired Ryan on a groundout to end the inning.

Brook retired the first two batters in the top of the third before the game was stopped with LeBarron batting. In her 1 2/3 innings of work, Brook has allowed no hits and struck out four. Hedrick allowed two earned runs on five hits.