UTICA, NY - The SUNYIT softball team was swept by the visiting Keuka College Storm at Wildcat Field Sunday by the scores of 0-7 and 6-9. The wins helped Keuka finish undefeated in the NEAC at 20-0, awarding them the conference regular season championship and granting them the right to host the NEAC Tournament next weekend.
Despite the losses, SUNYIT still finished the regular season with a program-best record of 27-7 and claimed the second seed in the NEAC tournament with a 17-3 conference record.
Keuka opened up game one by scoring three runs in the first inning on a two-run single by Sara James, who then scored on a SUNYIT error three batters later. James did more damage in the second, hitting a two-run triple to right center to make it 5-0 before Keuka added another run and took a commanding 6-0 lead after two innings of play. The Storm added an insurance run in the sixth en route to the regular season championship-clinching victory.
Freshman Lauren Marleau (Prospect, NY/Holland Patent) had two of the team’s four hits, while sophomore Amanda Pratt (Rochester, NY/Rush-Henrietta) hit a double.
Denise Bilbow registered two hits, an RBI, one run scored and three stolen bases for Keuka, while Allison Richter struck out six batters.
Keuka again struck first in game two, scoring six runs on six hits and one SUNYIT error. After the next two innings went scoreless for both teams, Keuka added another run in the top of the fourth to make it 7-0, but the Wildcats got right back in it with six runs of their own in the bottom of the inning.
Two more scoreless innings would pass before Keuka scored two runs in the seventh off a homerun by Sarah Fredericks and an RBI by Montana McDonald, leaving SUNYIT down 6-9 headed into the final inning. The Wildcats were able to the load the bases with two outs thanks to three Keuka errors in the inning, but Richter got out of the jam with a strikeout to secure the victory for her team.
Pratt finished 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI and one run scored, while sophomore Juleah Vedder (Dolgeville, NY/Dolgeville) and freshman Natalie Triano (Mountainview, CA/Colonie) each had an RBI and scored one run.
Fredericks finished 4-for-4 at the plate and scored three runs for Keuka, while McDonald drove in three runs. Cherie Smith pitched 3.1 innings and had three strikeouts to record the win, while Richter closed out the final 3.2 innings of the game and struck out four batters.
The Wildcats will now head to Keuka this Friday, April 30 for the first round of the double-elimination conference tournament. Their opponent and the time of the contest have yet to be determined.