TROY, NY – Lindsay Brace (Moriah, NY/Moriah Central) threw an impressive 12 strikeouts in a nine inning nail bitter Wednesday night as the Gators swept MCLA 3-2 in game one and 10-0 (five innings) in game two.
Game one proved to be an exciting pitching duel between Brace and MCLA's (8-12, 2-2 MASCAC) Rachel Quackenbush for seven scoreless innings. Both offenses had opportunities to score before forcing extra innings. The Trailblazers' best chance came in the top of the first with runners on the corners, while Sage's (14-10, 7-1 Skyline) came in the bottom of the second with runners on third and first.
MCLA's Quackenbush broke the scoreless battle when she scored on a Jenn Sicinski single to left field in the top of the eighth. Sage responded to force a ninth inning when Aanisah Taylor (Great Barrington, MA/Monument Mountain Regional) tied the game 1-1 on an Allison Ford (Mechanicville, NY/Mechanicville) single to right field.
In the top of the ninth, the Trailblazers took a 2-1 when Sam Boyle scored on a Katie Berghela single. It appeared as though MCLA was going to tack on a third run off Berghela's single, but Jennifer Onwe (Tarrytown, NY/Sleepy Hollow) made the long throw from center in time for catcher Courtney Laughlin (Cohoes, NY/Cohoes) to get Alex Romano out at home plate.
Sage tied the game in the bottom of the ninth 2-2 when Katy Rimawi (Ballston Spa, NY/Ballston Spa) scored on a Morgan Dunn (Cohoes, NY/Cohoes) single through the right side. With runners on second and third, freshman Kiersten Duncan (Millerton, NY/Taconic Hills) hit a clutch walk off double to leftfield and brought home the winning run.
Brace (7-4), the Skyline Pitcher of the Week, was credited with the win on a complete game, 12 strikeout effort. The senior's 12 K's are a season high. Quackenbush (5-6) picked up the loss on a seven strikeout effort.
The Gators woke up the bats for game two as they started the first inning with six runs. Sage saw RBI's from Alexa Silk (Freehold, NY/Greenville), Jessica Adams (Nassau, NY/Columbia) and a three-run homerun from Onwe. The Gators tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the second on runs from Ford and Rimawi to go up 8-0.
After throwing two hitless innings, Sage's Katie Kovage (Hoosick Falls, NY/Hoosick Falls Central) gave up her first hit to Berghela in the top of the third, but the shortstop was left stranded on second.
Sage added on a ninth run in the bottom of the third when Onwe went yard for the second time in the game. The Gator's tenth and final run came from Taylor in the bottom of the fourth.
Kovage and the Gator defense did quick work in the top of the fifth, and completed the 10-0 win.
Kovage (5-2) picked up the shutout on a three K effort while MCLA's Katelyn Henault (3-6) was credited with the loss.
The Gators were led on offense by Onwe (2-5, two home runs, four RBI's, two runs), Ford (4-7, two runs, RBI) and Rimawi (2-7, three runs).
With 14 games left in the regular season, the Gators are already marking their spots in the Sage record books. In single season records, Dunn and Duncan are currently tied for 4th in doubles (13). Dunn also sits at 5th in home runs (five). Brace tied her 2015 strikeout mark and is tied for 8th (67).
In career records, Dunn (5th, 24), Kovage (7th, 22) and Adams (7th, 22) rank among the best in school history in doubles. In home runs, Dunn (6th, 10) and Silk (7th, 9) find themselves in the top ten. Kovage sits at 4th in RBI's while Adams sits at 8th in stolen bases. On the mound, Kovage has been adding to her wins record (34) while Brace sits at 8th (18). In strikeouts, Kovage is in 2nd with 203 while Brace is in 3rd with 174.
The Gators take to Robison Field tomorrow for a doubleheader against SUNY-Cobleskill starting at 3:30 p.m.