UTICA, NY – Juniors Juleah Vedder (Dolgeville, NY/Dolgeville) and Amanda Pratt (Rochester, NY/Rush-Henrietta) both belted home runs to help lead the SUNYIT softball team to a pair of victories over NEAC rival SUNY Cobleskill in the team's home opener Wednesday. The Wildcats are now 2-0 in the NEAC and 6-3 overall, while Cobleskill fell to 0-2 in conference play and 0-4 overall.
Due to the on-campus construction of the $20 million field house and renovations to the current Wildcat Softball Field, the contest was held at Utica College's Greenman Field, which, along with Herkimer County Community College's Generals Field, will be the site of all SUNYIT home games this season.
The Wildcats cruised to an 11-2 victory in game one, with Vedder putting the game away with a grand slam in the sixth inning that forced the eight-run rule with the Wildcats already up 7-2 at that point. It capped off a dominant performance for the Wildcats, who rapped out 16 hits in the game and had seven players finish with at least two hits.
Vedder, who is the program leader in career home runs, finished 2-for-3 with six RBI, three runs scored and triple. Senior Amanda Myers (Boonville, NY/Adirondack) and junior Kim Tarasek (Lowville, NY/Lowville) both registered two hits, a triple, an RBI and one run scored, while Pratt and sophomore Lauren Marleau (Prospect, NY/Holland Patent) both finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored.
Senior Meaghan McGurn (Slingerlands, NY/Hudson Valley CC) registered her third win of the season, going the distance and allowing two unearned runs on five hits while striking out six.
In game two, Pratt hit a solo shot during a four-run third inning for the Wildcats that helped them build a 6-1 lead. SUNYIT would then again run-rule Cobleskill with three more runs in the fourth and three quick defensive outs in the top of the fifth to win 9-1.
Myers had a fantastic game, finishing a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate with three runs scored, two RBI, a triple, a double and a stolen base, while Marleau drove in two runs and scored another. Junior Nicolette Kennedy (Yonkers, NY/Good Counsel Academy) went 2-for-3 with two RBI and sophomore Lyndsey Brognano (Rome, NY/Rome Free Academy) had two doubles and scored two runs.
Vedder pitched a complete game and struck out seven batters for her third victory of the season.
The Wildcats will be back in action this Saturday when they host NEAC foe Wells College for a doubleheader at Greenman Field. Game one is scheduled to begin at 1:00 pm.