By Samip Delhiwala
Published: April 18th, 2018
After sweeping two straight doubleheaders at home against Yeshiva University and York College (NY), the Brooklyn College women’s softball team was shut out in both games of Saturday afternoon’s doubleheader (9-0, 7-0) against Lehman College at the Brooklyn College Field.
After seniors Brianna Preston, Uena Xharo, Daminska Estime, Breanna Maresca, and Nicole Boudouris were honored during the pregame Senior Night festivities, the first game of the doubleheader was underway with Xharo as BC’s starting pitcher.
After hitting Lehman’s leadoff hitter Maranda Diaz with a pitch, Xharo failed to hold the runner, and Diaz stole second and then advanced to third on an error by BC catcher Preston. But Xharo recovered quickly, and induced a lineout followed by two strikeouts to bring the Bulldogs up to the plate.
BC threatened to score early by drawing two straights walks to start the bottom of the first inning. Maresca then bunted for a single to load the bases with no outs. But the Bulldogs failed to capitalize on a prime scoring opportunity—something they have struggled with all season—and Lehman starting pitcher Diamond Villegas struck out the next three batters in Houdini-esque fashion to get out of the inning unscathed.
The Lightning managed to record their first hit of the game in the second inning, but were unable to score again. But Villegas gave her team another chance by striking out the side in a 1-2-3 bottom of the second for the Bulldogs.
Lehman then drew first blood in the third inning. After Stephany Cruz reached on an error by BC shortstop Leslie Lima, Diaz singled to advance her to second. Villegas then helped her own cause by singling on a bunt to load the bases with no outs. Caitlin Vernon then fouled out to first base, but she picked up an RBI after all the runners advanced and Cruz scored to put Lehman up 1-0. Xharo subsequently tossed a wild pitch, allowing Diaz to score as well.
Brooklyn again went down in order in the third, and after Lehman secured another run in the fourth, it broke the game open in the fifth inning. With a 3-0 lead, two straight singles to lead off the inning put runners at the corners. Xharo threw her second wild pitch of the game, allowing the runners to advance and bring in a run. Minutes later, another wild pitch scored another run for Lehman, putting it up 5-0.
Brooklyn struck out in order yet again in the bottom of the fifth, the Lightning tacked on four more runs to end the game.
Maresca had the Bulldogs’ only hit of the game, while Xharo gave up six earned runs on 10 hits while striking out eight. Every Brooklyn batter had multiple strikeouts except for Lima, who struck out once. Defensively, the Bulldogs picked up a whopping five errors that resulted in three unearned runs.
Lehman fired on all cylinders in the game, offensively and defensively; the team recorded 10 hits off Xharo while not having a single error. Villegas had a phenomenal pitching performance, tossing a one-hitter shutout while striking out 18 and walking just two.
The second game of the doubleheader featured more of the same for both teams.
Lehman’s offense carried its momentum and got started early. Diaz led off with a solo home run, and Villegas followed with a single. Vernon then brought her home with a two-run homer to put the Lightning up 3-0 in the first inning with no outs.
The fiery hot road team scored four more times before the end of the game, ending the doubleheader with a total of 16 runs while giving up none.
Villegas one-upped her previous game’s performance, this time tossing a no-hitter while striking out 16 and walking three. Diaz led her team’s offense with a 3-for-5 hitting performance and driving in four.
With the losses, BC drops to an abysmal 5-15 overall record, and 2-6 in conference. Lehman improved to 8-21 overall, and 4-4 in conference.
After recording just one hit overall in the doubleheader, the Bulldogs will look to rebound on the road in a doubleheader against Hunter College this Saturday. Game one will start at 12 p.m., while game two is slated for 2 p.m.