CORTLAND, N.Y. - After falling just short of a conference title last year, Cortland softball has won its 16th State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Championship in program history. Sunday afternoon, the Red Dragons found themselves facing off the Geneseo Knights - the team that defeated the Red Dragons in last season's championship game to win the 2018 SUNYAC title. Thanks to some strong pitching that managed to stifle the Knights' offense, along with a few big hits, Cortland won the game 2-0. It's the 12th career SUNYAC title - and the final one - of Coach Julie Lenhart's career with Cortland, as she is set to retire at the end of the season.
The first three and a half innings were quiet offensively for both sides. In the bottom half of the third, Cortland's Tori Scharff led off the inning with a walk, eventually getting to second base. With two outs and Scharff on second, Taylor Felicello singled to drive in the game's first run. In the bottom of the fourth inning, Cortland's Alyssa Finno hit a one out double. The next batter popped out to first, but Scharff managed to smash a two out double to drive Finno home, giving the Red Dragons a 2-0 lead.
Sophomore Cady Walts dealt 5.2 shutout innings, surrendering two hits, walking one batter, and striking out four. For the first five frames, the Knights found Walts difficult to solve, unable to collect a single hit. But in the top of the sixth inning, Jasmine Petrishin brock up Walts' no-hit bid with a single. Walts was able to get a couple of outs after, but a walk and another single loaded the bases for Geneseo, putting them in a prime position to change the tide of the game with just one swing of the bat. Senior Sam Van Dorn was called in to pitch for Walts, and on the very first pitch, got the Geneseo batter to ground out to escape the jam.
In the top of the seventh inning with Cortland still ahead 2-0, Geneseo senior Taylor Fedor hit a two out double down the left field line to give the Knights a chance to make a comeback, but the next batter grounded out, securing the victory for Cortland.
Julie DiSpigna - New Paltz
Brianna Harrington - Oswego
Abbey Whitney - Geneseo
Danni Napoli - Geneseo
Hannah Elmer - Geneseo
Ashlyn Kersch - Geneseo
Kelly O'Gorman - Cortland
Alyssa Finno - Cortland
Sam Van Dorn - Cortland
Taylor Felicello - Cortland
Cady Walts - Cortland (Tournament MVP)