READING, Pa. – Just as they did a season ago, the SUNY Poly Softball Team fell to the Phoenix of Wilson College in the first round of the NEAC Tournament on Friday. The Wildcats lost by a nearly identical score too, succumbing 6-4 to the #2-seeded team out of the NEAC South Division (they lost 6-5 last year).
While the loss sends the team to the loser's bracket of the double-elimination tournament, that may not necessarily be a bad thing if history continues to repeat itself. Last year the Wildcats pulled off an improbable run all the way to the finals of the tournament, winning three straight games following the loss to Wilson.
For that to happen, however, the 'Cats will have to shore up their defense. The team made 4 errors in Friday's game, resulting in just 1 of the 6 runs given up by starting pitcher Fallon Reinold (Holland Patent, N.Y. / Holland Patent) being earned.
The Phoenix scored once in the first inning and again in the fourth, but the Wildcats put up two in the top of the 5th on a solo home run to left-center by the team's 9-hitter, Lyndsey Leone (Whitesboro, N.Y. / Whitesboro). Reinold scampered home on an error to score the team's other run in the inning.
Things turned in the bottom of the 5th, however. The Phoenix netted four runs in the inning, none of them earned. Jennifer Patton singled to left center in the inning for 2 RBI's.
The Wildcats, to their credit, kept battling, and scored 2 runs in the top of the 6th to make it a game. But the middle of the lineup went 1-2-3 in the 7th, giving the win to starter Taylor Crouse for the Phoenix.
Leone ad a big day with the team's only RBI and homer, finishing 2-for-3. Danielle Witchley (New Hartford, N.Y. / New Hartford) added two singles and a run scored, and Krista Pristera (New Hartford, N.Y. / New Hartford) finished with two hits as well.
The Wildcats will now play the loser of the Penn State Berks vs. Penn State Abington game, which will take place tomorrow morning at 9 am. The game with SUNY Poly will then take place at 3 pm. Please check the Penn State Berks Tournament Page for links to live stats.