posted 2012-05-12 22:32:19

Hunter Softball Ready for Playoff Push

Hawks finish season with 2nd best CUNY record

Jennifer Kraham

Staff Writer

Seniors Josephine Estevez, Lauren Stensland, Crissette Maxwell, and Arielle Zieff (left to right). Photo courtesy of Hunter College Athletics.
With many ups and downs this season, the women’s softball team looks round out the season by capturing their first CUNYAC title since 2008. Seeded second, the Hawks start their campaign on Friday, May 2nd where they play the winner of a game between Baruch and John Jay College.

The women started their 2012 season in early March, when they travelled down to Salem, Virginia to play in the Roanoke Valley Softball Bash. The Hawks went 1-3 at the tournament, getting their only win by besting Castleton College with a score of 1-0.

“After Virginia, even though we came out 1-3, we were very positive because we saw a lot of good things. We played good competition and we held it together for most of it,” said senior catcher Arielle Zieff.

But as the season progressed, the young team struggled to find its groove. After dropping games to schools such as Richard Stockton, Mount Saint Mary College, and Morovian, the women were finally able to grab their first conference wins against York College, defeating them 12-4, and 14-4 in a doubleheader. After that, they were able to remain undefeated in the CUNYAC conference picking up wins against Lehman College and Brooklyn.

The most thrilling game of the regular season was against the College of Staten Island. After dropping the first game in the double header 9-1, the Hawks had a different mentality going into the second game.

“We lost the first game but we knew we could win the second so we came together as a family and used our strengths and pulled out a win,” said Zieff.

After CSI took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning, Hunter responded by plating six runs in the bottom half of the frame. Junior Scholar-Athlete of the month Sophia Ponce drove in two runs on a RBI-single up the middle to make it 6-2 Hunter. But the Dolphins managed to tie the game 7-7 in the last inning, forcing the game into extra innings. Both teams looked for a final flurry to close out the game, and CSI was able to put one run on the board in their half of the inning to put the pressure on the Hawks.

But the women in purple responded. An RBI and an error by the Dolphins short stop was enough for Hunter to plate two runs and walk-off with a thirlling 11-10 victory.

After that, Hunter’s only CUNYAC losses came from rival Baruch College. They ended the season with an overall record of 14-26, but finished second in CUNYAC with a strong 9-3 record.

The playoffs will be contested over two days – May 4 and 5 at the College of Staten Island campus.

“Going into playoffs we are a high seed and we know we can do damage in the CUNY tournament. We need to all be hungry and give it our all,” said Zieff.