NEWBURGH, NY – Junior Amy Hart (St. Johnsville, NY/Little Falls) broke Erika Daigle's 2014 single-season strikeout record of 129 with eight K's in Sage's 2-0 win over Purchase in the first round of the Skyline Championship.
Hart (11-10) was credited with the complete-game, shutout while Purchase's (10-17) Nicole Fortuna (7-7) picked up the loss after giving up only one earned run. Hart's eleventh win launched the junior into sixth place in Sage single-season wins while also moving up to seventh in career K's.
The three seeded Gators were led at the plate by Alexa Silk (Freehold, NY/Greenville) who was 3-for-3 with one run, three stolen bases and a double. Jessica Adams (Nassau, NY/Columbia) also had a multi-hit game going 2-for-3 while Hart hit Sage's (20-17) other double. Katy Rimawi (Ballston Spa, NY/Ballston Spa) had Sage's lone RBI with Allison Ford (Mechanicville, NY/Mechanicville) scoring the Gator's second run.
The six seeded Panthers were led on offense by Mary Adams who was 1-for-3 with a double.
With Silk's one run today, the junior is two runs away from tying Kristen Beikirch's 2013 single-season record at 46. The second baseman also moved past Melissa Roy in career stolen bases with 50 to take the second place spot. Silk is a mere 15 stolen bases away from Beikirch's record.
In the top of the first, the Panthers had runners on second and third with two outs, but Hart forced a foul fly to catcher Brittany Brooks (North Bangor, NY/Salmon River Central) to keep Purchase off the board. Sage responded in the bottom of the inning when Silk scored on a single and three stolen bases to put the Gators up 1-0. Sage added a second run when Ford crossed home on a Rimawi RBI.
After a scoreless second inning, Sage had runners on first and second with two outs in the bottom of the third, but Fortuna forced a groundout to keep the score 2-0. Purchase answered with a one-out double from Mary Adams in the top of the fourth, but the shortstop was left stranded after a popup and strikeout. In the bottom of the inning, Hart hit a two-out double to right center, but a groundout to the shortstop kept the Gators from scoring.
Sage had one of their best scoring chances in the bottom of the fifth with runners on second and third with two outs before a groundout to the third baseman ended the inning.
Purchase started off the sixth inning with runners on first and second and only one out on the board. A fielder's choice to Jessica Adams at shortstop took the lead runner for the second out. Hart then forced the next batter to fly out to keep the shutout going.
Sage tried to extend their lead in the bottom of the sixth with two runners on, but a line drive to Victoria Capone-Froio at second kept the game 2-0.
In a must score seventh inning, Purchase's April Uhl lead off with a single through the left side. A popup to second placed one out on the board before a Fortuna single up the middle placed runners on first and second. The Gator defense came up huge the following batter on a 3-6 ground rule double-play by Kiersten Duncan (Millerton, NY/Taconic Hills) and Jessica Adams to end the game.
With Sage's win over the Panthers, the Gators advance to the four-team double-elimination bracket with no. one Mount Saint Mary (24-12), no. two St. Joseph's – Long Island (19-15) and no. four Farmingdale State (22-17).
The Gators are set to take on St. Joseph's at 3:30 p.m. following the Mount Saint Mary/Farmingdale game.