Playoff hopes for Softball dwindle, lose a pair to Oneonta

Francis Boeck, Managing/Sports Editor

If there was ever a time for the SUNY Buffalo State Softball team to a catch a break, it was this weekend.

The Bengals entered the final week of the regular season in a three-way tie with Fredonia and Plattsburgh for the final spot in the SUNYAC playoffs.

Unfortunately, it was Buffalo State’s opponent, the SUNY Oneonta Red Dragons, who were getting the breaks Saturday.

The Bengals were the loser in both games of their doubleheader with Oneonta at the Buffalo State Softball Field.

After a disappointing first game, Buffalo State had come from behind to tie things up heading into the bottom of the seventh inning of the second.

Things were playing out perfectly for the Bengals. Oriana Castello led off with a single and reached third base off a sacrifice fly bunt. With only one out, Sydney McIntosh hit a fly ball long enough for Castello to tag up and try to beat the throw. Castello went for home but was called out after being tagged by the catcher, however, the catcher appeared to be blocking the plate with both knees down in the path, meaning by rule the runner would be called safe.

Buffalo State head coach Jamie Brown was ejected after arguing the call and the game went to extras.

In the top of the ninth inning, the Red Dragons put themselves in a similar situation getting their leadoff hitter, Jade Meehan, to third base. The next batter hit a long fly ball to out the field and Meehan went home. However, she never appeared to tag up. The umpire called Meehan safe and remained with it even after more objections from the Bengals’ staff and faithful.

Buffalo State was unable to score in the bottom of the ninth, losing the second game 5-4.

The first game of the doubleheader had far less drama with the Bengals falling 4-1. Oneonta got on the board in the top of the third. Dana Del Genio and Meehan had base hits before Lauren Sabatino knocked a three-run homer over the left field wall.

Brooke Corbett scored on an RBI-double in the fourth for the Red Dragons. Later that inning, the Bengals secured their only run of the game in a similar fashion with Taylor Benton crossing the plate.

However cheated they may feel at the way the second game turned out, the Bengals themselves are to as much blame for the outcome Saturday.

The Bengals’ infield had their fair share of mishaps with some overthrows leading to extra bases and runs. The offense stranded a pair of runners in each the last four innings of Game 1.

Buffalo State corrected the latter in Game 2. After falling behind 4-0, the Bengals tied the game in the bottom of the fourth. They loaded the bases on two walks and a hit by pitch. Buff State got a run on the first of two fly outs. Justine Silva reloaded the bases with a hit, followed by another walk which brought in a run. Julia Blujus finally cashed in the opportunity with a two-RBI double for the third and fourth runs.

The Bengals certainly are not out of the playoff race, but they have uphill battle after Saturday.

Fredonia split with New Paltz, while Plattsburgh’s scheduled doubled header with Brockport was moved to Monday.

Sunday, Buffalo State will finish its regular season playing host to a doubleheader against New Platz at 11 a.m. Fredonia will take on Oneonta and Plattsburgh heads to currently tied for first Geneseo.