The Hofstra softball team let the last contest of a three-game series against the University of Delaware slip away with a 6-4 loss to the Blue Hens Sunday.
Freshman starter Sarah Cornell was not quite as fortunate on the mound as she was Saturday, when she spun a complete game shutout against Delaware in five innings of work.
On Sunday, Cornell gave up two runs in the first inning, one on a solo shot by catcher Anna Steinmetz.
Cornell settled in afterwards, pitching scoreless innings through the third. With one out in the fourth, Hofstra head coach Larissa Anderson replaced Cornell with fellow freshman Alyssa Irons.
“Cornell didn’t have great stuff this morning,” Anderson said after the game.
“I saw it right away. As soon as we went through the lineup the second time, I knew I wanted to make a change right away,” Anderson said. “She wasn’t getting swings and misses like she normally gets. She was squeezing the ball a little bit which tells me she was a little fatigued.”
Irons promptly gave up three runs in the inning, giving Delaware a 5-3 lead.
Hofstra scored one more in the bottom of the fourth inning but wasn’t able to close the gap. The Blue Hens plated the final run in the top of the seventh.
The Pride struggled defensively in the final game of the series.
Infield and throwing errors plagued the team as balls took unpredictable bounces on the dry dirt in Bill Edwards Stadium.
“Our defense let us down,” Anderson said. “I mean, that’s the foundation of our program. We always consistently play solid defense and today we didn’t. We were passive; we sat back on our heels. When you sit back on your heels, the balls will eat you up every time. That was the reason why we had five errors.”
A few Pride hitters continued their hot stretches at the plate. Megan Patierno homered in the third inning. It was her third long ball of the weekend against Delaware starter Jordan Cargile. Patierno was able to read Cargile’s changeup all weekend and drove it with consistency.
In the end, the offense could not string together enough hits to defeat the Blue Hens in the series finale.
The Pride fell to 14-16 overall and 4-4 in Colonial Athletic Association play with the loss.
Hofstra will try to rebound against Seton Hall University Tuesday and Long Island University Brooklyn Wednesday. The Pride is hoping the bats come alive in those games as well.
“We were very successful yesterday because we had a plan at the plate,” Anderson said. “Today we got ahead of ourselves. We went away from our plan and chased the ball out of the zone. It doesn’t matter who you’re facing on the mound, you have to stick to your plan.”