Nikki Michalowski’s three-run double in the bottom of the sixth inning would break open an otherwise-tight contest on Wednesday, as the Pride would defeat Stony Brook 6-2 on Wednesday evening at Bill Edwards Stadium.
“We played pretty well, and Sarah Cornell had a great outing,” said Hofstra head coach Larissa Anderson after the win, the Pride’s fifth win in a row. “Throughout the course of the game, we swung at good pitches and hit the ball hard.”
Michalowski, who had been held hitless in her last eight plate appearances before stepping to the dish for a third time on Wednesday, grooved a pitch from the Seawolves’ Maddie Neales into the right-center gap with the bases loaded, knocking in three runs and giving the Pride a comfortable cushion heading into the last inning.
“I just kept talking to her, just telling her to hit the ball hard and not to do too much,” Anderson said. “And she did exactly what she was supposed to do.”
It was patient hitting that would truly prove to be the Pride’s best friend late in the game, taking pitches and drawing walks to help set up Michalowski.
With the game tied at two in the bottom of the sixth, Courtney Scarpato got the ball rolling with a two-out single. Then Kristin Hallam followed with a single of her own. Brielle Pietrafesa drew a walk, and then another walk drawn by Brittany Allocca forced in the go-ahead run, putting Hofstra had 3-2.
Next up for the Pride was Michalowski, who got a nice pitch to hit and ultimately sealed the deal for Hofstra.
“You can’t hit everything, and if you try to hit everything, than you can’t hit anything,” Anderson said.
That patience would prove to be a virtue in less-than favorable conditions. On a windy and rainy day in Hempstead, the ball just wasn’t jumping off the bat the way this Pride team is accustomed to seeing.
The first three innings were a battle on the mound, as Cornell traded scoreless frames with Stony Brook’s starter, Melissa Rahrich.
Cornell would ultimately pick up her 15th win of the season on the strength of a complete game. The freshman would allow just two runs on seven hits, while striking out a career-high nine batters.
“She [Cornell] was moving the ball around, and getting them to swing at balls out of the zone, which was key,” Anderson said.
After three scoreless innings, it was Stony Brook that got on the board first, thanks to a single from Allyssa Malony.
Hofstra answered right back in its own half of the fourth inning, with a little bit of the power that has defined this team in recent weeks. Megan Patierno led off the inning with a towering opposite-field homerun to tie the game at one.
Kristin Hallam would later drive in the Pride’s second run of the innings on a sacrifice fly to center field, briefly giving the Pride the lead.
Stony Brook would answer with a long ball of its own in the sixth inning to briefly pull even with the Pride, but Michalowski added some insurance, and the rest was history as the Pride won yet another chapter in the “Battle of Long Island.”
Next up for the Pride is a three-game series with the visiting Phoenix of Elon University. The action will get underway with a doubleheader starting at 2 p.m. on Saturday, and the series finale will be on Sunday at noon.