TROY, NY – Junior Amy Hart (St. Johnsville, NY/Little Falls) threw her second no-hitter of the season in Sage's sweep over St. Joseph's – Brooklyn Sunday afternoon. The Gators took each game 3-0, and locked in their sixth straight playoff birth.
Hart (9-8) was credited with both wins after only giving up two hits over 14 innings. The junior registered 13 strikeouts while holding the Bears to a .047 batting average. St. Joseph's (14-10, 4-8 Skyline) Victoria Mahoney (9-5) picked up the loss in game one after a nine strikeout, zero earned runs effort while Theresa Armano (4-4) had the loss in game two.
Freshman Destiny Wierzbicki (Albany, NY/Troy) led Sage (17-15, 12-4 Skyline) at the plate with four RBI's, a three-run homer and a double. Junior Alexa Silk (Freehold, NY/Greenville) went 4-for-7 with three runs and a solo home run while sophomore Kiersten Duncan (Millerton, NY/Taconic Hills) had two doubles and one RBI.
The Bears were led at the plate by Kristin Ferrigno with two hits, including one double.
In game one, Wierzbicki put Sage up 3-0 in the bottom of the first with a two out, three run home run over the left field fence.
St. Joseph's had their best chance in the top of the fourth when Ferrigno reached second on a one out fielding error, but Hart forced two back-to-back popups to end the inning. The Bears had a runner in scoring position again in the top of the sixth with one out before a strikeout and a groundout left Stephanie Rancel stranded.
In the bottom of the sixth, Duncan hit a leadoff double followed by a Bears fielding error to put runners on first and second with no outs. Mahoney embraced the pressure and got three consecutive outs to keep it a three run game going into the final inning.
In the top of the seventh, St. Joseph's had Sarah Kampuries on second with one out, but a groundout and popup secured the no-hitter win for Hart.
The second game started off in a stalemate until Silk put the Gators up on a leadoff homer over the left center fence. Sage added a second run three batters later when Wierzbicki hit home Kristen Silk (Freehold, NY/Greenville).
Down 2-0, Ferrigno led off the top of the fourth with a double to leftfield, but the third baseman was left stranded on second. In the bottom of the inning, Sage loaded the bases with no outs. Armano secured the first out with a popup to the catcher. The pitcher then got some help from centerfielder Destiny Marino who laid out for a shallow fly ball to get the second out. The Bears kept Sage from scoring when a fielder's choice to the shortstop ended the inning.
In the top of the fifth, St. Joseph's had a runner on second with one out, but a popup and strikeout left Marino stranded on second.
The Gators broke through the Bears defense in the bottom of the sixth when Alexa Silk scored on a Duncan double to left field to go up 3-0.
In a last chance effort to tie the game, St. Joseph's place a runner on first with two outs in the top of the seventh, but a fly out to left field ended the game.
With one week remaining in the regular season, Mount Saint Mary (14-1) continues to lead the conference. Sage's 4-0 weekend launched them into second place past St. Joseph's – Long Island (10-4). In fourth and fifth place are Farmingdale St.(8-4) and Mount Saint Vincent (7-6) while Purchase (6-7), St. Joseph's – Brooklyn (4-8) and Old Westbury (4-11) are in the hunt for the final playoff spot.
Sage takes a break from conference play Wednesday as the Gators take on SNU-New Platz at Robison Field. The first pitch is set to be thrown at 3:30 p.m.