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Lady Blackbirds lay an egg at NCAA softball tourney

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The Long Island University softball team’s season ended on May 21 as a late-game hit doomed the Blackbirds to a 1–0 loss to Arizona State in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Regionals in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

The Blackbirds wrapped up the year with a 30–27 record, dropping back-to-back games in the tournament, including a 10–2 loss to Louisiana State on May 20. It’s the 10th time Brooklyn has recorded a 30-win season in program history.

Erynn Sobieski pitched in both games, tossing a gem against Arizona State despite the final score. The sophomore shut out the Sun Devils in the first six innings of play before giving up a two-out single to Taylor Becerra in the bottom of the seventh. Becerra’s hit drove in Chelsea Gonzales, and it was just enough to snap the scoreless deadlock and end Brooklyn’s season.

Sobieski had not been quite as strong against Louisiana, giving up 15 hits while her team notched three errors in the field.

“I think Erynn was terrific — Erynn kept us in there and gave us a chance to win the game,” Blackbirds coach Roy Kortmann said after the loss to Louisiana. “It was 2–2 in the fifth (inning), and you get yourself in that spot against a team like LSU, you need to back her up a little bit. I thought she was outstanding.”

The loss gave Sobieksi a 19–19 record in the circle this year, but the sophomore did lower her earned run average to 3.08 with the performance.

Brooklyn’s bats were mostly held in check over the course of both games. The Blackbirds, making their first tournament appearance since 2012, combined to record just six total hits in the two losses, including just one in the season-ending loss to Arizona State.

Senior outfielder Whitney West led the Blackbirds at the plate, finishing the weekend with three hits.

It’ a difficult end to an otherwise dominant season for the Blackbirds, which clinched its 14th Northeast Conference title in program history. The team has already turned its attention to next season, however, confident in a future that includes 14 returning players.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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