Devils open with wins over NEC, Elmhurst

CLERMONT, Fla. – Fredonia State opened its 2013 women’s softball season with an 11-1 win over New England College, followed by a 4-2 win over Elmhurst..

Alyssa Brognano pitched a complete-game two-hitter against NEC. The Blue Devils erupted for 10 runs in the sixth inning to invoke the mercy rule.

“We definitely hit the ball well,” Fredonia State coach Nicole Loudin said.

“I was very impressed. They battled the whole game. It took us the first three innings to ‘shake the snow off.’ They did a nice job once they got going.””

Cherise Gunnell led the offense with two hits, including a homer, and four RBI. Kim Lotocki also had two hits. The loss dropped NEC to 0-8.

Against Elmhurst, Raela Wiley-Delp pitched the first five innings and Danielle Shelp worked the final two in relief. The duo combined to allow three hits. None of the three Fredonia State pitchers allowed a walk on the day.

“I think Brognano was hitting her spots well,” Loudin said. “Her speed was good. All three pitchers kept people off base that didn’t need to be.”

Katie Bartkowiak hit an opposite-field homer to right field and was hit twice by pitches after getting plunked twice in the first game. She’s the school record-holder in the category with 26; the next most by any player is seven.

“Cherise and Katie were phenomenal today,” Loudin said. “They were clutch in key situations.”

Bartkowiak’s homer was also her eighth as a Blue Devil, one short of the school record. She also stole her 48th career base, four short of the school record. Both current marks are held by Heather Mercer (2001-04).

Defensively, right-fielder Anne Wasik made two run-saving catches during the day.

Elmhurst entered the day with a 2-0 record.

The Blue Devils return to action Saturday at 9 a.m. vs. Tufts and at 1 p.m. vs. Carthage.

Baseball

Blue Devils trade wins with UMass Dartmouth

LAKE MYRTLE, Fla. – The Fredonia State baseball team split a pair of games in their season opener on Thursday. They started off with a 9-8 win over UMass Dartmouth, followed by a 5-4 extra-inning loss.

Kenny Johnston started the scoring for the Blue Devils in Game 1. Johnston led off in the third inning with a single, and then stole second before being driven in on a two-out Bobby Frantz single. Frantz would later score on a Brian Sheehan single.

The Devils added three more in the fourth to take a 5-0 lead.

UMD would score the next four runs to pull within one, 5-4. The Devils responded with four more runs in the sixth to take a 9-4 lead.

The Corsairs would not go away, plating four runs in the top of the seventh before Zach Jordan slammed the door by getting the final out for the save.

Offensively, Johnston had three hits and Frantz had two. Frantz also contributed two runs batted in and two stolen bases.

Sheehan and Dillon Lowe each had two runs batted in.

Jake Nowak started game one on the mound for the Blue Devils and scattered four hits and three runs over four and two thirds innings of action to record the win.

Kyle Morse and Joseph Tingue (South Dayton/Pine Valley) pitched the next two innings to set up Jordon.

Angelo Sciandra started game two for the Blue Devils and went five innings. Sciandra allowed three runs, three hits, and struck out three.

Steve Sturm and Evan Carmello (Fredonia) pitched in relief. Sturm held the Corsairs hitless in his inning pitched and recorded a strike out. Carmello was credited with the loss in his 1 2/3 innings.

Ian Gallagher and Matt Casilio each had two hits to lead the Blue Devils. Gallagher added two runs batted in.

The Blue Devils will face SUNYAC opponent Plattsburgh today. First pitch of the doubleheader is scheduled for 11 a.m. in Lake Myrtle.

“Defensively and running the bases, we played exceptionally well,” Blue Devils head coach Matt Palisin said. “What kept us from winning both games was a few too many walks. (Today) we begin conference play and we feel pretty confident right now.”