Tournament MVP Sabrina DeAngelis allowed one run over two games as Oneonta State’s softball team earned its first SUNY Athletic Conference Tournament softball title since 2004 on Saturday.
Top-seeded host O-State clinched the title with an 8-0 victory over second-seeded Cortland in the final to cap an unbeaten run in the double-elimination tournament. The game was shortened to five innings because of the eight-run mercy rule.
DeAngelis (17-5), a freshman, went 3-0 in the tournament with a 1.27 ERA. Over 22 innings, she allowed five runs on 21 hits and had 11 strikeouts.
“It’s unbelievable,” first-year O-State coach Sara Headley said in a media release prepared by the college. “Our goal at the beginning of the season was to finish above .500. This is amazing and I am so proud of this team for believing in the process and believing in themselves.”
It marks the fourth SUNYAC title for O-State, with the others coming in 1999, 2001 and 2004. The Red Dragons (29-9) earned an automatic bid into the NCAA Division III Tournament, which starts Thursday. The tournament field will be announced today.
One season ago, the Red Dragons finished 8-28 and didn’t qualify for the conference tournament. The 21-win improvement over 2013 is second-best all-time in Division III history, according to a release sent by O-State’s sports information department.
“This team just continues to make it happen,” Headley said. “They play with so much passion and they have grown so much throughout the season. They just refuse to give up. It is a pleasure coaching them.”
All of Oneonta’s runs against Cortland came with two outs, including one in the first inning.
Jamie Whittam led off with a bunt single off of losing pitcher Sarah Salamone. Jenn Brocco’s sacrifice moved to Whittam to second. A groundout by Traci Lichtenstein advanced Whittam to third, and she scored on Marlene Cuevas’ single to center.