Troy, NY –The Sage College's softball team had its home opener on Wednesday with the Hawks of SUNY-New Paltz in a non-conference doubleheader. Sage triumphed 15-12 in eight innings in the first game as rookie leftfielder Alana Vandenburg (Wynantskill, NY/Columbia) connected for first career home run in the bottom of the eighth inning, a grand slam to win the game. Because the first game went so long, the second game started very late and was called due to darkness, but had not reached the required fifth inning to be counted as a contest. Sage is now 5-8 overall and New Paltz drops to 7-6.
Sage jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning and led 6-1 through three innings before the Hawks pushed six innings across the plate in the top of the fourth and took a 10-6 lead heading to the middle of the fifth inning.
Vandenburg had an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth to help the Gators before Sage tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning on a RBI shot by junior Courtney Laughlin (Cohoes, NY/Cohoes) and a New Paltz error.
Sage tied the action in the bottom of the seventh inning as sophomore pitcher Lindsay Brace (Moriah, NY/Moriah Central) had a key RBI to drive in freshman Alexa Silk (Freehold, NY/Greenville), who reached with a single down the left field line.
In the top of the eighth inning, the Hawks took a 12-10 lead before Sage answered back with five runs in the bottom half of the inning to win the game as Laughlin had an RBI single and Vandenburg tallied her first collegiate home run.
Sage's junior pitcher Katie Kovage (Hoosick Falls, NY/Hoosick Falls Central) worked four innings for the Gators with five earned runs off nine hits and struck out two. She was relieved by freshman Rachael Lashway (Queensbury, NY/Glens Falls), who worked two innings with three earned runs off two hits before Brace came in the game and picked up the win. She worked two innings with no earned runs off one hit with three strikeouts and stands at 2-6.
For New Paltz, junior Katie Rutcofsky (Plainview, NY) started and returned to the circle and suffered the loss. She drops to 3-2 after one inning of work with nine earned runs off eight hits with three walks and a strikeout.
Offensively, Vandenburg had five RBIs with a 2-5 effort at the plate, while Laughlin also drove in five runs with a double after going 3-5 with two runs scored.
New Paltz's senior Shayna Burgess (Smithtown, NY) was 3-5 with three RBI's and three runs scored, while connecting for a double. Senior Erika Traina (Bay shore, NY) was 2-4 with four RBI's, a home run, while working six innings in the circle with three earned runs off eight hits with one strikeout in a no decision.