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River Hawks Knock off Stony Brook, 5-1, for First AE Tournament Win

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VESTAL, N.Y. – Senior Vanessa Cooper (Pleasant Gap, Pa.) registered two RBI to help lead the No. 2 seeded UMass Lowell softball team (20-26) to a 5-1 victory against No. 3 Stony Brook (24-21) in its first game at the America East Championship on Thursday.

The victory marked the first ever Division I post-season win for any women’s team at UMass Lowell. The decision also gives the River Hawks their second straight 20-win season.

“I’m so proud of them,” said Head Coach Danielle Henderson. “The first game of the tournament is always the toughest and I thought we handled it really well, especially in the first inning. We made a mistake and they scored a run off of it, but we were able to take the momentum back and take the game back into our hands.”

Three other River Hawks joined Cooper with one hit on the day, including freshmen Maria Moccio (Feeding Hills, Mass.) and Sara Siteman (Hudson, N.H.), who added one RBI apiece. Junior pitcher Kaysee Talcik (Shelton, Conn.) totaled four strikeouts in the complete-game performance for her seventh win of the year.

The Seawolves were quick to get on the board, taking advantage of two defensive miscues in their first trip to the plate to pull in front, 1-0.

Sophomore Marianne Sparacia (Spring Hill, Fla.), who drew a walk in the bottom of the first, represented the River Hawks lone baserunner through the first two innings. However, UMass Lowell’s bats went to work in the bottom of the third, rallying for five runs on three hits to take a 5-1 advantage. In that at-bat, the home team loaded the bases before Siteman roped a liner to center to erase the difference. Redshirt-sophomore Casey Harding (Cheshire, Conn.), Cooper and Moccio then followed with RBI of their own to put their squad on top.

Talcik retired the next six straight Seawolves she faced. The River Hawks then turned a, impressive, 4-6-3 double play to end the top of the sixth and forced three more quick outs in the seventh to secure the 5-1 outcome.

UMass Lowell now moves on to the winners’ bracket final tomorrow, Friday, May 11, at 11 a.m. against the top-seeded UAlbany Great Danes.

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