MARCY, N.Y. – After a pair of crushing losses a day ago put the SUNY Poly Softball Team on the brink of elimination from the upcoming NEAC Tournament, the team responded with a thrilling victory over the Keuka Wolfpack in the first game of a doubleheader Tuesday afternoon, 2-1, clinching a spot in the playoffs.
Down 1-0 heading into the bottom of the 4th, the Wildcats took advantage of a pair of Keuka errors to start the inning. With one out and runners on first and third, Abby Black laced a single up the middle, scoring Fallon Reinold from third.
Later in the inning, with two outs, Abby Coyne continued her clutch hitting this season with a single to right, scoring Kiersten Albertson.
It was all the Wildcats needed, as Reinold shut down the Wolfpack the rest of the way. The junior pitched all 7 innings, earning her 8th win of the year while striking out 6.
The Wildcat defense came up clutch in the final inning. The Wolfpack put the first two runners of the inning on with a single and an error. A sacrifice bunt left runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out.
Krista Pristera made the play on the sacrifice bunt, then made the next play on a weak ground ball, looking the runner back at third before firing to first for the out. Finally, with two down, Angela Bartlett fielded a groundball from the Katelyn Warren, firing a perfect throw to first under pressure.
Black and Coyne led the Wildcats with 2 hits each, as the Wildcats did just enough to defeat pitcher Liz Warren, who struck out 10 on the game.
In game two, SUNY Poly nearly completed another late inning comeback. Down 6-2 heading into the final inning, the Wildcats scored 3 runs and had the tying run at second base when Morrisville pitcher Brianna Bush induced a groundout to end the game.
Samantha Stewart took the loss for the Wildcats, battling through all 7 innings against a talented Wolfpack team. Pristera led with 2 hits on 4 at-bats, driving in a run during the Wildcat rally in the 7th.
SUNY Poly will host their final home games tomorrow as they take on Utica in a doubleheader. The first game is scheduled to begin at 3:30 pm. Having clinched a playoff spot, the team will then head to NEAC Tournament host Penn St.-Berks this Friday. Details will be announced once final seedings are released from the conference office.