NEWBURGH, NY – Junior Alexa Silk (Freehold, NY/Greenville) went 2-for-4 with a triple, but Sage fell short to St. Joseph's – Long Island 2-0 in the first game of the double-elimination Skyline Championship bracket Thursday afternoon.
Adding to Silk's extra base hit for no. three seeded Sage (20-18) was Brittany Brooks (North Bangor, NY/Salmon River Central) with her first career double. Adding a hit apiece for the Gators were Jessica Adams (Nassau, NY/Columbia) and Kristen Silk (Freehold, NY/Greenville). Meanwhile, no. two seeded St. Joseph's (20-15) was led at the plate by Valerie Scura with one hit and two RBI's. Scoring for the Golden Eagles were Ashley Steponaitis and Jillian McFadzen. Kristen Arbiter had St. Joseph's lone double while McFadzen, Elizabeth Rohme, Lyndsay Smocer and Theresa Cardello each added a single.
Cardello (11-4) was credited the win for Golden Eagled with the complete game, six strikeout effort while Sage's Amy Hart (St. Johnsville, NY/Little Falls) picked up the loss with three strikeouts and only one earned run against.
In the top of the first, Alexa Silk led off the game with a triple to left field. After two consecutive outs, Katy Rimawi (Ballston Spa, NY/Ballston Spa) and Kiersten Duncan (Millerton, NY/Taconic Hills) each drew walks to load the bases. Cardello stepped up for St. Joseph's though and came up with a strikeout to keep Sage from scoring. In the bottom of the inning, Arbiter reached second on a two out double, but Hart forced a groundout to end the first.
With two outs on the board in the top of the second, the Silk sisters were on first and second, but a fielder's choice to the shortstop took the lead runner to end the inning. After Hart struck out the first batter of the second inning, a Stepanaitis walk and a McFadzen single placed runners at first and second for St. Joseph's. A passed ball moved runners into scoring position, and a Scura single to centerfield plated both runners for a 2-0 lead.
After two scoreless innings, St. Joseph's Madeline Sganga reached base on a Sage fielding error. The right fielder moved to second on a stolen base and a groundout. With two outs, Sganga tried to steal home but was caught by Brooks to keep the game 2-0.
In the bottom of the sixth, Smocer led off for the Golden Eagles with a single through the left side and then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Gabrielle Cinquemani. However, due to a fielding error, Cinquemani was able to reach first to give St. Joseph's two base runners. The pair of Smocer and Cinquemani attempted a double stolen base, but Brooks caught the lead runner to give Sage its first out. Gator pitcher Allison Ford (Mechanicville, NY/Mechanicville) then forced two consecutive outs to get out of the inning unscathed.
In the must-score top of the seventh, Brooks led off for the Gators with a double to left field. Cardello then came up with a strikeout, but Alexa Silk singled to second base to put runners on the corners. Alexa Silk then stole second to take away a double play opportunity. However, Cardello forced a foul out and pop up to end the 2-0 game.
Sage is set to play four seeded Farmingdale State at 1 p.m. Saturday in a must-win game. If the Gators win, Sage will play the loser of the 11 a.m. Mount Saint Mary/St. Joseph's game at 3 p.m. The winner of the nightcap will advance to the Skyline Championship final on Sunday.