MARCY, N.Y. – The SUNYIT Softball Team (17-10, 11-3 NEAC) returned to their winning ways Wednesday with a sweep of visiting SUNY Cobleskill (12-14, 5-9 NEAC). The Wildcats took both games earlier in the season in a doubleheader at the Fighting Tiger's field, and so sweep the season series 4-0.
The Wildcats fell behind early when a base hit up the middle got by centerfielder Kwanisha Jones (Philadelphia, N.Y. / Indian River), allowing Cobleskill outfielder Noelle Gushlaw to come all the way around and score from first.
After that, however, starting Wildcat pitcher Erica Hovey (Dexter, N.Y. / Jefferson CC) would settle down. The junior hurler didn't allow a run for the next five innings as SUNYIT built a 6-1 lead. Hovey was buoyed in the first game by some great defense, most notably by second baseman Krista Pristera (New Hartford, N.Y. / New Hartford). Pristera made a sliding play moving up the middle, and then threw from her knees to get the first out of the inning in the top of the fourth. The Wildcats had just scored two runs in the previous frame to take the lead, 2-1. Pristera's play began a 1-2-3 inning defensively for the Wildcats in the crucial post-rally half of the inning.
Helping the Wildcats to their lead was senior first basemen Bianca Brown (Utica, N.Y. / Utica-Proctor). Brown has been on a tear of late, going 2-for-3 in the first game with an RBI and a run scored.
Cobleskill gave the Wildcats a scare in the bottom of the 7th, scoring two on a bloop double down the right field line, but Hovey settled down to record the final out for a 6-3 SUNYIT win.
With the victory, Hovey improved to 10-4 on the season, and even helped her own cause with a 2 RBI bloop double in the bottom of the 5th for the Wildcats.
In the second game SUNYIT left much less to chance. Jae Dee Lavada (Mayfield, N.Y. / Fulton Montgomery CC) picked up her 5th win in the contest, throwing 5 scoreless innings in an 8-0 win for the Wildcats.
Lavada surrendered just a single hit for the second game in a row, as opposing pitcher Brianne Gray ripped a double in the top of the second inning for Cobleskill's only hit. Unfortunately, Gray's fortunes on the mound couldn't have been more opposite: of the 14 runs given up in the first-year player's two starts, only 6 were earned.
Stepping up in the run production department for the Wildcats in Game 2 was third baseman Juleah Vedder (Dolgeville, N.Y. / Dolgeville). Vedder finished 2-for-3 with 2 RBI's and 2 runs scored. On the other corner for SUNYIT, Brown was no slouch herself, following up her 2-hit performance in the first game with a 3-for-3 night in the second, including a double and an RBI.
SUNYIT will return to action tomorrow in a make-up doubleheader with Cazenovia. The games will take place as part of Senior Day for the Wildcats, with the first game scheduled to begin at 4:00 pm.