Softball Ready to Deliver at Weekend's ACAA Tournament

The softball team meeting together between innings of a game.
Gail DelSavio

DELHI, N.Y. (May 3, 2019) – Head coach Meagan Hillard and the SUNY Delhi softball team is ready to make the trip to Alfred, NY this weekend to compete in the ACAA Tournament. The Broncos secured the fourth seed with an 11-13 record, and will play first-seed Thomas More (29-9) in Saturday's semifinals at 1:00 p.m. at Alfred University.

The ACAA Softball Tournament will follow a double-elimination format over the course of Saturday and Sunday, with Saturday's games split between sites at Alfred State College and Alfred University. The other semifinals game between second-seed Finlandia (10-22) and third-seed Alfred State (7-16) will also be played at 1:00 p.m. over at Alfred State. The losers of the semifinals games will then face off later in the afternoon at Alfred University, while the semifinals winners will compete at Alfred State.

Sunday's leg of the tournament is currently slated to be played at Alfred State. The opening game at 10:00 a.m. will pair up Saturday's winner of semifinals losers game and the loser of the semifinals winners game. The winning team of that matchup will then face off against the victor from the semifinals winners games in the championship at 12 noon. If necessary, a second championship game will be played at 2:00 p.m.

Complete Tournament Schedule

  • Saturday, May 4
    • Game 1: #1 Thomas More vs. #4 SUNY Delhi, 1 p.m. at Alfred University
    • Game 2: #2 Finlandia vs. #3 Alfred State, 1 p.m. at Alfred State College
    • Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, Loser Eliminated, 45 mins after Game1/2 at Alfred University
    • Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 45 mins after Game1/2 at Alfred State College
  • Sunday, May 5
    • Game 5: Winner of Game 3 vs. Loser of Game 4, Loser Eliminated, 10 a.m.
    • Game 6: Championship Game, Winner of Game 4 vs. Winner of Game 5, Noon
    • Game 7: Second Championship Game (if necessary), 2 p.m.

Broncos Season Recap

In her first year leading the Broncos, Coach Hillard turned around a program that finished 0-27 the year prior to earning their first double-digit win season in three years. The team also more than doubled their runs total from last season, driving in 168 runs after plating just 75 in 2018. With a roster of just 13 players, each Bronco played a pivotal role in the team's success. Four Broncos enter the tournament batting above .400 for the season – junior outfielder Sierra Keesler (.424, 36-for-85), freshman infielder Mackenzie Sparacino (.422, 27-for-64), junior catcher/first baseman Dakota Baker (.413, 19-for-46), and sophomore designated player Yesileidy Paulino (.408, 20-for-49).

Keesler leads the team at the plate with a .753 slug percentage, 38 RBIs and five home runs, as well as hitting for seven doubles and three triples. The Broncos have also adopted an aggressive approach on the base paths, featuring speedsters Sparacino leading the team with nine stolen bases and Jaylynn Sheppard ranking second with eight stolen bases. Delhi amassed 57 extra-base hits during the season, with Paulino leading the team with eight doubles, while Keesler and Natasha Picozzi are tied for the team lead with three triples. 

Pitchers Molly Greene and Haylee Lefebvre carried out the duties on the mound all season, with both pitching 68.1 innings. Greene is 7-5 on the year, delivering 29 strikeouts with a 4.92 ERA. Lefebvre, who handled most of Delhi's opening games in doubleheader contests, holds a 4-8 record with one save, fanning 44 batters and possessing a 5.94 ERA. She also has helped her own cause at the plate, totaling two home runs and two doubles.

The Broncos opened their 2019 season in late March, earning their first victory in their third game of the season against John Jay, 15-3, on Mar. 30. Despite a 1-5 start to the year, Delhi won nine of its next 12 games, including doubleheader sweeps over fellow SUNY school Morrisville State and ACAA opponents Valley Forge and Pine Manor. The ladies closed out the regular season on Friday, April 26, splitting a road twin bill at Houghton.