Cortland softball advances to NCAA Regional Championship Round

Sabrina Caputo (shown during Friday’s action) went a combined 5-for-7 with five RBI and three runs during Saturday’s two wins (Darl Zehr Photography)

CORTLAND, N.Y. – Cortland advanced to the championship round of the four-team NCAA Division III Softball Cortland Regional with victories over Framingham St., 4-1, and St. John Fisher, 9-1 in six innings, during the second day of competition at Dragon Field.

Cortland (31-15), ranked 24th nationally and the regional’s second seed, will face top-seeded and nationally fourth-ranked Williams (35-5) Sunday at noon and needs to defeat the Ephs twice to win the regional. Williams moved to within one win of the regional crown with a 12-10, eight-inning victory over St. John Fisher in a winner’s bracket game to open Saturday’s competition.

With its two wins Saturday, Cortland has reached the 30-win mark for the 16th time in the last 18 seasons.

NCAA Regional Tournament Web Page

Cortland 4, Framingham St. 1

Cortland scored all four of its runs and posted half of its eight total hits in the top of the first versus the Rams (24-21), who are coached by former Red Dragon assistant Larry Miller. The designated away team in the game, Cortland opened with consecutive singles by Kelly O’Gorman (Clifton Park/Shenendehowa), Taylor Felicello (Marlboro) and Sabrina Caputo (Westbury/W.T. Clarke), the last of which drove in the game’s first run.

Cailey Cuttita (Clifton Park/Shenendehowa) bunted runners to second and third and a wild pitch scored Felicello to make it 2-0. After a Hannah Feldman (Buffalo/Sweet Home) walk, Alyssa Finno’s (Kingston) fielder’s choice grounder drove in a run, and a Tori Scharff (Poughkeepsie/Arlington) walk was followed by a Skyler Hoyt (Endicott/Union-Endicott) RBI single to put Cortland up 4-0.

Cady Walts (Cortland) went the distance for the Red Dragons to improve to 16-5 on the year. She allowed only two hits and four walks and struck out 12 batters. Framingham pitcher Kelsi Gunarathne settled down after the first inning and shut out Cortland the rest of the way. She allowed eight hits and four walks and struck out three.

Framingham broke through in the seventh, starting with walks by Lauren Salisbury and Farrah Adam. Walts got the next two batters out, but Victoria Ziner singled through the left side to drive in a run and Kirsten Dick walked to load the bases. Cortland held on for the win when leadoff batter Camille Desrochers hit a grounder to third and Finno touched the bag for the game-ending force out.

O’Gorman, Felicello and Caputo each finished with two hits and Hoyt went 1-for-3 for the Red Dragons.

Cortland 9, St. John Fisher 1 (6 inn.)

Cortland avenged its 11-inning loss to St. John Fisher from Friday with a 9-1 win that was called after six innings due to the eight-run rule. Sam Van Dorn (Medford/Patchogue-Medford) tossed a five-hitter to increase her record to 14-8. She struck out three and did not walk anyone.

Caputo finished 3-for-3 with a double, four RBI and two runs and was a combined 5-for-7 on the day. Cuttita, Finno and Scharff each finished 2-for-4, Feldman doubled and drove in two runs, and Felicello was 1-for-1 with a hit by pitch, walk, RBI and two runs as Cortland outhit the Cardinals, 12-5.

Emily Trotman, who threw more than 130 pitchers during Fisher’s loss to Williams earlier in the day, went the first four innings versus Cortland and allowed eight hits, two walks and six runs with three strikeouts. MaryClaire Grosvenor was 2-for-2 and Maddy Pepke finished 1-for-3 with an RBI for the Cardinals (27-17), a super regional team last year, national runner-up in 2017 and national third-place finisher in 2016.

Cortland, again the designated away team due to an NCAA home/away determining formula, opened the game with a run in the top of the first as O’Gorman led off with a double, moved to third on a Felicello sac bunt and scored on Caputo’s infield single to the hole at shortstop. Fisher tied the game in the third when Grosvenor led off with a single and eventually scored on a two-out Pepke RBI single up the middle.

Cortland sent nine batters to the plate in a five-run top of the fourth. Finno and Scharff led off with singles and were bunted up by Hoyt. With two outs, O’Gorman walked and Felicello was hit by a pitch to force in a run. Caputo then cleared the bases with a three-run double to left, and Cuttita’s double off the fence in left drove in Caputo.

The Red Dragons created the eight-run margin with three in the top of the sixth. Feldman doubled in two runs with two outs, and Finno’s single through the right side scored pinch runner Ashley Votta (Marlboro).