Today: Mar 03, 2024

School record about to fall

PAT LONGOBARDISports Writer

In her junior year, SCSU third baseman Alyssa Downs has dealt with many records on the team already. Downs has been a big piece to this year’s team and her presence will be important going forward during this postseason run.

Downs, a captain from Seymour, Conn., most recently tied with Megan Caporossi in career home runs at SCSU with 29. She tied the record with a three-run homer run to left field at Pelz Field against Merrimack last weekend.

The No. 16 nationally ranked SCSU softball team (34-6 overall, 22-4 NE-10) are also the No. 1 ranked team in the East region. They are also approaching the best school record since 2010.

“We are definitely playing great,” Downs said. “We are coming out and we are playing strong with our defense and we are hitting the ball. We are playing as one unit. We are all doing our parts.

“I am not really trying (to break the record). I am just trying to get hits. I can’t be happier (getting the record). It is a great feeling. I am just trying to get hits.”

Downs is one of four captains for the Owls this season.

As of April 17, Downs is averaging .368 with the 13 home runs this season with a .769 slugging percentage. With leads the team with 55 RBI 43 hits and 34 runs scored. As of last week, Downs is currently ranked fourth in the country in runs batted in per game (1.39) and ranked 18th in homeruns per game (0.34).

The Owls are currently the top seed and host of the Northeast-10 Conference tournament to be played this week. They have won it the past two years including last year’s dramatics winning four games on the final day of the tournament due to inclement weather. They will then most likely qualify for, and may host, the NCAA regionals next week.

The offensive production has played a big role this season with Downs (13) leadoff hitter Brittany Bucko (14), both juniors, combining for 39 home runs this season.

SCSU head coach Lisa Barbaro said, in her eighth season, said Downs has really showed what she can do on the field this season for the team.

“She (Downs) has had a great season,” Barbaro said. “She has continued to improve. We just asked her to cut down on her strikeouts. We know that she can hit home runs and she will get her share (of hits). She needs to control her body. I think she is one of the best defensive third basemen in the league, and if not in the region.

“We are not really looking to home runs. The goal is just to win softball games. We (SCSU) have had some great hitters in the program with Megan Caporossi at the top with the record. She (was) really close and you have to go some (to break the record). We also have Brittany Bucko who has 13 home runs. They are both having great seasons. They bring in a lot of runs and they help set the tone (in the game).”

Downs had career-best numbers in 2011 with a .345 batting average, 11 home runs and 51 RBI. She also set single-season records in both of her first two years in appearances and starts with 55 each. She then broke her own record last year with 56 each, and she looks to be above that mark again this season.

Downs is a recreation and leisure major at Southern. With another season still remaining, Downs can still keep on going higher into the Owls record books.

Downs said that the production the team is getting from around the field has been something special.

“What we are doing (Bucko and Downs) is great,” Downs said. “This is a big conference. We are doing this together. We are helping the team and we are keeping them in the game.

Downs said there are still some more games to be played after coming short of the College World Series the past two seasons.

“We will try to win the rest of our games,” Downs said. “We will try to stay in first (in the conference) and just to do well (going forward).”

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