Wildcats Win Big in Afternoon after Losing Morning Heartbreaker to Wilson, 5-4 in Extra Innings
KEUKA PARK, N.Y. – The Wildcats voiced their frustration Saturday afternoon, angrily eliminating Penn St.-Berks and then Cazenovia by a combined score of 22-0. Even the dominant wins, however, wasn't likely to take the sting out of the morning's eight-inning loss to NEAC South Division champ Wilson College. The Wildcats held a 4-1 lead entering the bottom of the sixth inning, but the Phoenix hung three two-out base hits in a row on SUNYIT to tie the score at four.
Wilson somehow survived a pair of homers from SUNYIT senior first basemen Bianca Brown (Utica, N.Y. / Utica-Proctor). Brown had a pair of solo shots, the first leading off the second inning, and the second with two outs and nobody on in the third.
Neither team's player-of-the-year winners had much luck at the plate for most of the game – NEAC North Division Co-Player of the Year and SUNYIT shortstop Lyndsey Brognano (Rome, N.Y. / RFA) struggled through a 1-for-5 day, while South Division Player of the Year and Phoenix centerfielder Tara Fields was just 1-for-4. Fields, however, would welcome the dip in her batting average, as her lone hit was a big one: a walk-off single in the bottom of the 8th, scoring Meghan Schneck from second.
Erica Hovey (Dexter, N.Y. / Jefferson CC), who entered the game in the seventh for Jae Dee Lavada (Mayfield, N.Y. / Montgomery CC), took the loss, while Phoenix pitcher Leigh Roche went all eight innings for the win.
In the second game, the Wildcat wasted no time in jumping out ahead of the Nittany Lions, scoring three runs in the first inning as, incredibly, the first five SUNYIT batters all recorded hits. Lyndsey Brognano recaptured her All-Conference form, leading the Wildcat with 3 hits and 2 runs scored. Game 2 catcher Krista Pristera (New Hartford, N.Y. / New Hartford) was solid as well, going 2-for-3 with an RBI while 1st Team All-Conference third basemen Juleah Vedder (Dolgeville, N.Y. / Dolgeville) knocked in a pair of runs on 2-for-2 hitting. Vedder also closed out the game for starter Erica Hovey (who pitched only the first two innings), striking out two in her three innings of work.
The third game was just about over before it started: the Wildcats top six hitters all recorded two hits in just 4 at-bats (SUNYIT 8-run ruled Cazenovia by the fifth inning), and SUNYIT notched 17 hits as a team.
Brognano pounded the ball, leading all players with 5 RBI's on a 2 RBI double in the second, and a three-run homer in the 8-run SUNYIT third inning. Juleah Vedder earned the win for the Wildcats coming in to close out the game with another three scoreless innings, and Erica Hovey went three-for-three in a rare start at DH.
SUNYIT will face the loser of tomorrow's 10:00 am meeting between Wilson College and host team the Keuka Storm. SUNYIT's game is set to start at 12:00 pm, with the winner advancing to the championship of the double-elimination tournament at 2:00 pm and needing to beat whichever team comes out of the winner's bracket twice.
As a reminder, live stats for tomorrow's game can be found here.