Blue Devils push ranked Valiants in 2-1 loss

LEESBURG, Fla. — Fredonia came one out away of upsetting nationally ranked Manhattanville during The Spring Games on Tuesday morning at Sleepy Hollow Athletic Complex.

With Fredonia leading 1-0 and two outs in the last of the seventh inning, Manhattanville’s Brittany Deieso dropped a bunt in front of home plate with runners on the corners. Fredonia freshman pitcher Sam Seegar charged in from the circle, fielded the ball cleanly, then bounced a throw wide of first as the tying run scored.

The No. 21 ranked Valiants scored the winning run in the last of the eighth to emerge with a 2-1 extra-inning win. They improved to 5-5 while the Blue Devils fell to 9-5, including a 5-1 victory over Norwich earlier in the morning.

Katie Yudin, also a freshman, was the hard-luck loser against Manhattanville. With the international tie-breaker rule in effect, she entered the game with a runner placed on second to start the inning. Yudin threw one pitch, which Alexa Grniet bunted down third. The throw to first sailed high to allow the winning run to score.

Fredonia broke the scoreless tie with a run in the top of the seventh off eventual winning pitcher Arin Hartenstein. With one out, Erin Mushtare walked, went to second on a single by Seegar, and scored on a Manhattanville error.

The Blue Devils had a golden opportunity in the top of the eighth. Starting with a runner on second, the Blue Devils disdained the bunt and Nikki Lent responded with a single to left. She took second with alert base running. Hartenstein stranded both runners to get out of the jam.

The outcome overshadowed the pitching by Seegar. She allowed three hits, no earned runs, walked one and struck out six over seven innings. Hartenstein scattered seven hits — two by Khee Nance (Dunkirk) — while striking out five and walking two.

The Blue Devils extended their season-long winning streak to four games with their 5-1 win Tuesday morning. Sophomore right-hander Emily Shellenberger improved to 3-2 with a complete-game six-hitter with nine strikeouts.

Fredonia scored four runs in the fourth to break a 1-1 tie. The rally included an RBI double by Mushtare and a two-run double by Mahogany Barker, the first collegiate hit by the freshman. Nance also had two RBI in the game while Mushtare had two hits.

Today is an off day for the Blue Devils before they complete their Florida portion of their schedule with two games Thursday — 8 a.m. vs. Farleigh Dickinson-Florham and 12:30 p.m. vs. Hood — at Hancock Park in Clermont, Fla.