A pair of home runs would be the difference-maker for the Hofstra softball team on Wednesday, as Lacey Clark and Brittany Allocca each went deep to seal a 4-0 victory for the Pride over LIU Brooklyn under the lights at Bill Edwards Stadium. "It was a lot of fun, with a great atmosphere and an almost sell-out crowd...we really played well," said Hofstra head coach Larissa Anderson after the game. Wednesday night was "Little League Night" at the ballpark, and the bleachers were packed with a bunch of eager young ballplayers excited to cheer the Pride on.
Despite a relatively light night for the Hofstra offense, mustering just five hits against the Blackbirds, Clark and Allocca came up big when it mattered, providing run support to complement a complete-game shutout for Pride ace Sarah Cornell, who improved to 12-7 on the year.
Sam Tomasetti also had a big day at the dish for Hofstra, going 2-3 with a double. Brielle Pietrafesa also doubled for the Pride.
Clark, one of the team’s top hitters who had found herself in something of a slump heading into Wednesday’s game, broke out in a big way to put the Pride on the board.
In the bottom of the second, Clark took Blackbirds pitcher Tallie Woodson deep to center field, putting Hofstra ahead 1-0.
Woodson would struggle with her control throughout her start, walking in one run, and allowing another to score on a wild pitch, giving Hofstra a 3-0 lead in the second inning before Erynn Sobieski replaced her on the mound.
Those runs would be all the freshman Cornell would need, weathering some early trouble to pick up the win.
Cornell was able to leave the bases loaded in the first, and escaped another jam in the second by leaving two runners stranded in scoring position. From there on, she found her groove and kept the Blackbirds from doing any more serious damage.
Allocca would put the final nail in the Blackbirds' coffin, as the catcher launched a shot to left field that just carried over the wall in the bottom half of the fifth inning to put Hofstra up 4-0.
It was Allocca’s fourth homer in five games, and after a sluggish start to the season offensively, the sophomore catcher is tearing the cover off the ball as of late.
Those two dingers accounted for almost half of the Pride’s total offensive production on Wednesday, but despite being outhit 10-5 by the Blackbirds, it was what Hofstra was able to do with the bats that put them out in front.
Next up for the Pride is a big three-game series down in North Carolina, where Hofstra will square off with UNC-Wilmington. The two teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon, before finishing up the series on Sunday.