KEUKA PARK, NY – For the second straight season, the SUNYIT softball team fell to Keuka College in the NEAC Championships, falling to the Storm 14-2 in game one and 10-2 in game two during the double-elimination tournament Saturday.
Coming off a 5-0 shutout of the host and top seeded Keuka Storm in day one of the tournament, the Lady Wildcats quickly took the lead with a run in the bottom of the first on an RBI double by junior Amanda Pratt (Rochester, NY/Rush-Henrietta). However, Keuka would explode for seven runs in the top of the second by taking advantage of four Wildcat errors to take a commanding 7-1 lead. That would be the start of multiple errors committed by the Wildcats, as they would commit five more errors the rest of the way before eventually falling 14-2 in the five-inning, run-ruled shorted contest to suffer their first loss of the playoffs.
Seniors Amanda Myers (Boonville, NY/Adirondack) and Meaghan McGurn (Slingerlands, NY/Hudson Valley CC) scored both of SUNYIT's runs, while McGurn had three strikeouts through four innings of work on the mound.
Brittany Smyder drove in three runs for Keuka, while Morgan Engelbert and Elly Disbrow both had two RBI.
The loss left each team with one loss apiece and forced one final game to determine the NEAC North Division Champion. SUNYIT again took an early lead in game two, scoring two runs in the top of the third on a two-run double by sophomore Lauren Marleau (Prospect, NY/Holland Patent). Keuka scored a run of its own in the bottom of the third, and, after a scoreless fourth by both teams, had another seven-run inning in the fifth on four hits and three Wildcat errors. Keuka would score another two runs in the sixth to force the run-rule and go on to win the championship.
Myers and junior Nicolette Kennedy (Yonkers, NY/Good Counsel Academy) each scored a run for SUNYIT, while Pratt finished 1-for-3 with a double.
Brooke Lovell drove in four runs on two hits for Keuka, while Sara James and Jill Hart each had two hits. Allison Richter gave up six hits and struck out five in the victory.
Engelbert was named the Tournament MVP after batting .389 with eight runs scored, six RBIs, a double, a triple, and two home runs.
Keaka will now take on NEAC East Division Champion Wilson College this weekend for a best-of-three series to determine who receives the NEAC's automatic qualifying bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament.
The Wildcats finished the year 19-12 overall and 12-4 in the NEAC North.