Special to the OBSERVER
CORTLAND - No. 4 Cortland claimed the SUNYAC regular-season title with a 16-9 home win Saturday over No. 14 Fredonia State in women's lacrosse.
"Cortland is fourth in the country," Fredonia State head coach Chris Case noted. "They're an incredible team and they have depth that goes way deeper than we go."
OBSERVER?Photo by Gib Snyder III
Fredonia State’s Brian Sheehan (25) takes a swing Saturday at Ludwig Field during the Blue Devils’ SUNYAC?baseball doubleheader against Cortland.
The Blue Devils (6-2 SUNYAC, 14-2 overall) trailed from the start in their bid to earn the No. 1 seed. Instead, they will finish as the No. 2 seed and will face the No. 3 seed, yet to be determined, at 3 p.m. Friday at Cortland.
"The big thing we're taking away is in the second half, we played them 7-7," Case noted. "And that was without one of our players. And to be honest, I think that says a lot about the character of our team and we're hoping that carries into our playoff game next week."
The Red Dragons (8-0 SUNYAC, 16-1 overall) will meet the winner of Tuesday's first round game between the No. 4 and No. 5 seeds. The single-elimination tournament was expanded to five games this season.
Fredonia State was missing leading scorer Katie Kleine, who is out with a season-ending injury sustained Tuesday at Brockport. Her absence was felt in the early going as the Blue Devils fell behind 4-0 and eventually trailed 10-2 early in the second half.
Marissa Cussins had four goals and Kaila Fox had two as the Blue Devils cut their deficit to 11-8 with 10:13 left. Cortland regained command with four straight goals.
"With 10 minutes to go, we were trailing 11-8," Case said. "And we fully believed we were going to make the comeback and win, but at that point, we couldn't win a draw and Cortland took the momentum back."
Katie Glagolev had one goal and three assists while Rachael Reinis and Juliana Kotas had one goal each. Cussins and Reinis were each credited with three draw controls. Goalkeeper Casey Chiesa made 10 saves and had four ground balls.
Maria DiFato led Cortland with four goals.
"We didn't get off to the start that we wanted," Case said. "This is the game that we tried to see where we're at. There are definitely some question marks. My girls were just outmatched in the first half."
Despite two losses, Blue Devils make
Fredonia State lost both ends of a SUNYAC doubleheader with No. 6 ranked Cortland on Saturday at Ludwig Field, 9-2 and 11-4. Yet despite the two losses, the Blue Devils qualified for the SUNYAC Tournament as the No. 4 seed.
The Blue Devils (7-11 SUNYAC, 16-14 overall) qualified as a result of Brockport's win over Oneonta in the first game of their doubleheader Saturday. While Oneonta also finished with a 7-11 conference record, it lost out to the Blue Devils based on the head-to-head tiebreaker.
For their efforts, Fredonia State will travel to Cortland to face the Red Dragons (15-3 SUNYAC, 31-8 overall) at noon Friday. Oswego and New Paltz will meet in Friday's other game. The four-team, double-elimination tournament will run through next Sunday.
Fredonia State's top performers Saturday were senior Brian Sheehan, senior Zachary Hugg, senior Jake Nowak and junior Conner Lorenzo.
Sheehan drove in both Fredonia State runs in the opener, with a sacrifice fly in the first inning and an RBI single in the third, and had two hits in the second game. Hugg pitched a strong six innings, with three earned runs allowed and his team down 4-2, before tiring in the seventh. Nowak had two hits in the opener. Lorenzo had a hit and scored a run in the first game, and had a two-run single in the second game.
In addition, senior Dillon Lowe had a hit in each game, and junior Matt Casilio had an RBI hit in the second game.
Saturday marked the final home game for the eight Blue Devil seniors. Sheehan, Hugg, Nowak, Lowe, Game 2 losing pitcher Angelo Sciandra, John Bennett, Dan Fetes and Ian Gallagher were recognized along with their families during a pre-game ceremony.
The Blue Devils will prep for the SUNYAC Tournament with a non-conference doubleheader Tuesday at Hilbert.
Devils close season with split at Plattsburgh
PLATTSBURGH - Fredonia State won its last game of the 2013 softball season Saturday, 4-3, in the second part of a SUNYAC doubleheader with the Plattsburgh Cardinals.
Plattsburgh won the first game, 5-4.
Raela Wiley-Delp, one of seven seniors participating in their final collegiate game, tossed a complete-game six-hitter. She struck out two and walked two. One of the three runs she allowed was unearned,
Wiley-Delp was staked to a 3-0 lead in the first inning on RBI hits by Tina Schwartzmeyer and Jamie Atkins sandwiched around a Plattsburgh error. The Blue Devils added their fourth run in the second inning on an RBI single by Alyssa Morgan.
Plattsburgh ruined Wiley-Delp's shutout bid in the last of the sixth. The Cardinals then added two runs in the last of the seventh. The game - and the season - ended when Wiley-Delp caught a liner back to the circle and double off the potential tying runner at first.
The win left the Blue Devils with a 10-23 final record, including 5-13 in the SUNYAC. Wiley-Delp's final pitching record was 5-7.
In the opener, the Blue Devils led 2-0 early, later trailed 4-2, and pulled even on a two-run homer by Schwartzmeyer, her second of the season, in the top of the fourth. The Cardinals regained the lead in the last of the fifth and the Blue Devils were unable to mount a comeback.
Schwartzmeyer finished with three hits and three RBI, Morgan had two hits, and Cherise Gunnell (Falconer) hit her team-leading fifth homer. The losing pitcher was Danielle Shelp.
Morgan, a freshman, finished with a team-leading batting average of .421. It's the third-highest average in program history and just the ninth time a Blue Devils' player has batted over .400.
The owner of three of those marks, Katie Bartkowiak, had a .294 average as a senior. She finished with a four-year career average of .398, highest ever in program history. In addition, she also finished with the highest-ever slugging percentage (.541) and on-base percentage (.463), plus numerous other career and single-season records.
In addition to Wiley-Delp and Bartkowiak, the other Fredonia State seniors are Schwartzmeyer, Atkins, Shelp, Anne Wasik (Fredonia) and Alyssa Brognano.