UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The Utica College softball team swept a pair of games at home for the second consecutive day as the Pioneers topped visiting SUNYIT in a double header at Greenman Field Thursday afternoon. The Pioneers won game one 13-1 in five innings before topping the Wildcats 11-1 in game two.
Utica has now won four in a row, and nine of their last 10 to improve to 9-4 overall, while SUNYIT's record fell to 2-10. UC is 16-2 against SUNYIT dating back to 2005.
Senior third baseman Meghan Matan (Latham, NY/Shaker) was a perfect 6-for-6 on the afternoon with six RBI's, three doubles and two home runs, while freshman catcher Kassidy Ogren (Albany, NY/Colonie Central) went 5-for-5 with five RBI's, three runs scored and her first career home run.
Utica third baseman Meghan Matan (Latham, NY/Shaker) led the offense with a 3-for-3 effort which included two home runs and five RBI's. Matan also scored on all three of her trips to the plate. Freshman catcher Kassidy Ogren (Albany, NY/Colonie Central) also went 3-for-3 with two runs scored and one RBI in game one. It was Ogren's second three-hit performance in as many days.
Sophomore pitcher Abby Monroe (Watertown, NY/General Brown) carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning until it was broken up by Erika Charbonneau, who singled down the right field line. Monroe won her sixth game of the season after allowing just two hits and striking out eight.
After a scoreless first inning the Pioneers exploded in the bottom half of the second inning with ten runs. Ogren opened the flood gates with an RBI double which scored Matan. Reigning Empire 8 Conference Player of the Year Chelsea Monroe (Watertown, NY/General Brown) followed with a two-RBI double and then centerfielder Christy Traglia (Mohawk, NY/Mohawk) added an RBI double of her own. Chelsea Monroe (Watertown, NY/General Brown) went 1-for-3 with two RBI's and one run scored while Traglia went 2-for-4 with one RBI and one run scored.
Matan then cleared the bases with a three-RBI home run before Cassie Smith (Delmar, NY/Bethlehem Central) hit a towering two-RBI home run of her own to give the Pioneers the convincing 10-0 lead. Smith also finished the first game with two walks.
The Pioneers did not slow down in the bottom of the third inning as Fitzgerald doubled to right field to score Russell before Matan hit her second home run of the day. Russell went 1-for-3 with one run scored while Fitzgerald went 1-for-2 with two runs scored and an RBI.
Utica carried its momentum into the second game as Alysa Russell (Mechanicville, NY/Mechanicville) hit a solo shot to left field in the bottom of the first for her fourth home run in as many games. A pair of RBI doubles by Matan and Ogren gave UC a 3-1 lead after the first.
The Pioneers added three runs over the next two innings before breaking out in the bottom of the fourth to plate five runs. Courtney Fitzgerald (Albany, NY/Colonie Central) got things going with a two-RBI single, followed by Ogren's three-run shot to seal the victory.
Russell and Fitzgerald each had two hits and two RBI, while Chelsea Monroe (Watertown, NY/General Brown), Taylor Ellis (Willet, NY/Greene), and Christy Traglia (Mohawk, NY/Mohawk) also had at least one hit in game two. Chelsea Monroe (Watertown, NY/General Brown) and Russell also recorded one steal each. Abby Monroe (Watertown, NY/General Brown) struck out a season-high nine batters for her seventh win of the season.
The Pioneers return to action back at Greenman Field on Saturday when they host Nazareth College for their Empire 8 Conference opener at 1 p.m. The contest was originally supposed to be played at Nazareth but it was moved to Greenman due to field conditions.