LIU Brooklyn softball flirts with greatness at NCAAs
Sobieski Shines, but Blackbirds Come Up Short in Regionals
LIU-Brooklyn sophomore pitching sensation Erynn Sobieski yielded just one run over 6 2/3 innings in Saturday’s elimination game against Arizona State, and senior standout Whitney West hit a sizzling .500 to make the NCAA Baton Rouge All-Regional Team.
Unfortunately, none of it was enough to help the Northeast Conference champion Blackbirds advance in their quest for a national championship as their season ended with consecutive losses to the 10th-ranked LSU Tigers, 10-2, and the Arizona State University Sun Devils, 1-0.
Sobieski started both Regional games for LIU, which completed the 10th 30-win season in program history with a 3-2 win over Robert Morris here in Downtown Brooklyn the weekend before last.
In Friday’s opener, the 19-game winner kept the Blackbirds deadlocked at 2-2 through four innings with the national powerhouse Tigers on their home field before three big errors led to LIU’s demise.
Undaunted, Sobieski came out with an ace’s mentality in Saturday’s win-or-go-home showdown with ASU, matching zeros with Sun Devils hurler Kelsey Kessler through the first six frames.
But with a runner on third and two out in the home half of the seventh, ASU’s Taylor Becerra denied LIU a shot at playing on through Sunday, delivering a walk-off RBI single to center field that gave the Sun Devils the 1-0 win.
West was the lone Blackbird to be honored on the All-Regional squad after finishing 3-for-6 with two putouts and an outfield assist.
She leaves Flatbush Avenue as LIU’s all-time hits leader (245), capping her career at the Downtown school with a blistering .376 average out of the leadoff spot this past season.
Sobieski, of course, will be back for two more seasons under head coach Roy Kortmann, who guided the Blackbirds to their record 14th NEC crown this year.
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In other local collegiate sports news, senior guard Tyreek Jewell, who graduated St. Francis Brooklyn earlier this month with a degree in communications, has signed a contract with Kouros Basketball, a full service FIBA-licensed agency for professional basketball players based out of Greece.
Jewell, a defensive stalwart during his junior season, emerged as an offensive threat this past season for the Terriers, leading the team with 12.9 points per game and grabbing an average of 5.6 rebounds.
“My goals are to market my skills and get all of the benefits I can out of playing basketball,” said Jewell. “I would like to thank everyone who has believed in me to this point of my career and the people who have given me the opportunity to present my talent.
“I would especially like to thank head coach Bryan Hodgson from Jamestown Community College and SFC’s Glenn Bracia,” Jewell added. “Over the years I have also received help from my trainer/grandfather Tippy McTernan, SFC assistant coach Clive Bentick and my Terriers’ teammate Chris Hooper. They have really helped me with drill work and [to] learn the mental aspects of the game.”
The Terriers went 11-7 in conference play this season before being bounced by Mount St. Mary’s in the opening round of the NEC Tournament here on Remsen Street.
“Tyreek has done a tremendous job of working hard on his overall game since entering our program and we are very proud of his accomplishments both on and off the court,” noted Braica. “We wish him luck as he chases his dream of playing at the professional level.”
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