UTICA, NY – The SUNYIT softball team smashed a program-best four home runs in one contest and cruised past conference rival Cazenovia College during a doubleheader Monday, winning game one 11-2 and game two 12-2 in two run-rule shortened contests. The Lady Wildcats are now 12-2 in the NEAC North and 16-7 overall, while Cazenovia dropped to 7-5 in conference play and 8-9 overall.
Due to the on-campus construction of the $20 million field house and renovations to the current Wildcat Softball Field, the contest was held at Utica College's Greenman Field, which, along with Herkimer County Community College's Generals Field, will be the site of all SUNYIT home games this season.
The Wildcats showed why they are currently ranked second in the nation in batting average, third in scoring and fourth in slugging percentage, as they rapped out a total of 31 hits on the day, with eight of those being for extra bases. Additionally, the record-breaking four home runs in game two doubled the team's previous best, with the squad hitting two long balls in one contest on eight separate occasions.
SUNYIT actually trailed in game one after Taylor Kubber hit a leadoff home run, but the Wildcats quickly answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning on a two-run single to left field by junior Amanda Pratt (Rochester, NY/Rush-Henrietta). A two-run homer by sophomore Lyndsey Brognano (Rome, NY/Rome Free Academy) would come in the second, and that would be followed by two runs in the third on RBI singles by Brognano and junior Bianca Brown (Utica, NY/Mohawk Valley CC) and a five-run fifth inning to put SUNYIT up 11-2 and give them the run rule victory.
Brognano finished 3-for-4 with four RBI, two runs scored and a stolen base, while Brown drove in three runs on two hits and Pratt finished 2-for-2 with two walks and one run scored. Junior Kwanisha Jones (San Antonio, TX/Indian River) went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two stolen bases.
Senior Meaghan McGurn (Slingerlands, NY/Hudson Valley CC) earned her eighth win of the season on the mound, allowing four hits while striking out six batters.
Kubber finished 2-for-3 for Cazenovia, while Alexandra Dixon also hit a solo home run.
Cazenovia again took an early lead in game two with a two-run homer by Dixon in the first, but the Wildcats quickly answered with four runs in the bottom of the frame that was highlighted by a two-run dinger by Brown. She would hit another two-run home run during her next at-bat in the second, and junior Nicolette Kennedy (Yonkers, NY/Good Counsel Academy) would hit a solo shot two batters later to conclude the five-run inning and give the Wildcats the new record.
Vedder finished 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored at the plate while also registering her eighth win on the mound, allowing two hits and striking out nine. Pratt drove in three runs and scored another, while sophomore Lauren Marleau (Prospect, NY/Holland Patent) had two hits and scored three runs.
The Wildcats will be back in action tomorrow when they travel to take on SUNY Canton for a doubleheader. Game one is scheduled to begin at 3:30 pm.