900 wins: Cortland softball coach Julie Lenhart hits a milestone

Hannah Feldman is shown hitting her first of two home runs. Her second homer was a three-run shot in the 10th to give Cortland the 12-9 win (Darl Zehr Photography)

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CORTLAND, N.Y. – Hannah Feldman (Buffalo/Sweet Home) hit a walk-off three-run home run – her second homer of the game – to cap a six-run bottom of the 10th inning as Cortland rallied to defeat visiting Rochester, 12-9, to give Red Dragon head coach Julie Lenhart her 900th career coaching victory.

Lenhart is only the sixth coach in Division III history to reach the 900-win plateau, and just the fourth to do so coaching exclusively at Division III schools. Lenhart has a career mark of 900-380-2 in 29 years as a head coach – 780-303-2 in 24 seasons at Cortland and 120-77 in five years at Wisconsin-Platteville from 1990-94.

The second game of the doubleheader was halted by darkness in the top of the fourth inning with the game tied 5-5. No resumption date has been set yet for the game and will be dependent upon both teams’ upcoming schedules. If the game is not resumed, it will be listed as a “no contest” with no stats counting.

The first game was tied 6-6 after seven innings, and neither team scored in the eighth or ninth frames. The NCAA tiebreaker rule (runner placed on second to start the inning) began in the top of the 10th. Rochester quickly took an 8-6 lead on Gianna Melillo’s second homer of the game, and the Yellowjackets added a third run when Jocelynn Blackshear singled and pinch runner Bailyn Piecewicz eventually scored from third on an error after a strikeout that would have been the third out.

With one out in the bottom of the 10th, Alyssa Salisbury (Rotterdam/Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons) singled. Averee May‘s (Highland Falls/James I. O’Neill) hit into a fielder’s choice for the second out, with a run scoring, and Cortland stayed alive on a Kelly O’Gorman (Clifton Park/Shenendehowa) RBI single to right. After O’Gorman stole second, Andrea Schoonmaker (Marlboro) beat out a grounder to short to put runners on first and third, and Skyler Hoyt‘s (Endicott/Union-Endicott) RBI single to short tied the game at 9-9. Feldman followed with a blast over the scoreboard in left to end the game.

Cortland took a 2-0 lead in the first on back-to-back doubles by Schoonmaker and Hoyt, two hit batters, and an Ericka Sadowski (Liverpool) bases-loaded walk. Melillo tied the game for Rochester (3-10) with a two-run homer in the top of the second.

Tori Scharff‘s (Poughkeepsie/Arlington) RBI single put Cortland up 3-2 in the third, and Feldman hit a two-run homer in the fourth to push the lead to 5-2. Rochester got two runs back in the top of the fifth on RBI doubles from Harleigh Kaczegowicz and Lydia Petricca. Cortland picked up a run in the bottom of the fifth on a Sadowski single, Scharff double and May one-out RBI groundout.

Rochester knotted the game at 6-6 in the top of the sixth. Pinch hitter Alicia Bagan led off with a bloop that fell between the pitcher’s circle and the second baseman for an infield single. Sammi Re then bunted, with re-entered runner Jessica Conforti safe at second on an error. After a strikeout and a sac bunt, Kaczegowicz was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Alexis Pope hit a game-tying two-run single up the middle.

Feldman finished 2-for-4 with two homers, a walk, five RBI and three runs scored. Sadowski went 3-for-4 with a walk, RBI and two runs. O’Gorman, Schoonmaker, Hoyt and Scharff each added two hits as part of a 15-hit attack. Hoyt and May each ended with two RBI. For Rochester, Melillo was 2-for-4 with two homers, four RBI and two runs and Petricca went 2-for-5 with an RBI and two runs.

Sam Van Dorn (Medford/Patchogue-Medford) started and went four and two thirds innings, then re-entered in the sixth. She ended with eight innings pitched, allowing eight hits and seven runs, five earned, with six strikeouts and five walks. Courtney Kane (Bellport) pitched one inning in the middle of Van Dorn’s appearances and gave up one hit and two unearned runs with two strikeouts.

Cady Walts (Cortland) came in after Rochester’s first two batters in the 10th and pitched one scoreless inning. She earned her first collegiate victory as the pitcher of record when Cortland rallied in the bottom of the 10th.

Rochester’s Hannah Leahy pitched a complete game and gave up 15 hits and 12 runs, 11 earned, over nine and two thirds innings. She struck out three and walked four.

Cortand (8-9) will host doubleheaders versus Plattsburgh Friday at 3 p.m. and Potsdam Saturday at noon.