MARCY, N.Y. – While the SUNY Poly Softball Team celebrated Senior Day on Sunday afternoon, it was sophomore Danielle Witchley who stole the show. The catcher from New Hartford ripped three doubles, two in the first game and one in the second, finishing with 5 RBI's on the day.
After breezing to a relatively easy victory in the first game behind yet another dominant pitching performance from Fallon Reinold (7 innings, 1 run, 7 K's), SUNY Poly found itself in a jam in game two, down 8-7 heading into the bottom of the 6th.
SUNY Poly had raced out to an early lead after scoring 6 runs in the first inning, but the visitors clawed back with multiple runs in 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings to take the lead.
With one out and nobody on, however, senior Krista Pristera showed the type of leadership that has made her such a big contributor to the program over the last four years, "taking one for the team" and reaching first on a hit-by-pitch.
As fate would have it, the stove-pipe-hot Witchley strolled to the plate next. The right-hander didn't disappoint, ripping a line-drive double to deep left-centerfield, scoring Pristera and tying the game at 8-all.
Witchley, the game one catcher, then watched as her protégé and game two catcher Abigail Coyne came up with a clutch 2-out double over the left-fielder's head, scoring Witchley and giving the Wildcats a 9-8 lead. Coyne would later score on a Cazenovia error.
The two run cushion was plenty for Reinold, who pitched two innings of relief in the second game to earn the win, her third victory in two days. Reinold allowed just one base runner while striking out two.
In between games SUNY Poly honored its three seniors, pitcher Bridget Ashmore (New Hartford, N.Y. / New Hartford), second baseman Abby Black (Turin, N.Y. / South Lewis), and Ashmore's high school teammate Krista Pristera (New Hartford, N.Y. / New Hartford).
Ashmore, a four-year player, has been a steady game two starter and reliever for the Wildcats over her career at SUNY Poly, while Black has come on strong in her two years with the program and is currently batting over .300 out of the 5-spot in the Wildcat lineup this year.
As for Pristera, the third baseman will go down as one of the best players in program history, having been named to the ECAC All-Region 2nd Team last year and coming off back-to-back All-NEAC 1st Team selections.
Due to rainouts earlier in the year, the Wildcats still have a pair of home doubleheaders on the schedule, so fans will have a few more chances to see the seniors on their home field. The Wildcats host Penn College this Tuesday – first pitch is slated for 4:00 pm.