The Keuka College softball team claimed the North Eastern Athletic Conference's (NEAC) North Division championship with a 6-5 win over SUNY Polytechnic Tuesday afternoon in Marcy, N.Y.
The Wolfpack (15-7, 15-5) split the NEAC doubleheader, dropping the opener 2-1 before rebounding to salvage a split and claim the NEAC North regular-season championship.
In the opener, junior Liz Warren (Elmira Heights, N.Y./Thomas A. Edison) struck out 10 batters to break the school's career strikeout record. Warren upped her career total to 229 in her three seasons in Keuka Park, besting Jen Shaughnessy's (2005-08) previous mark of 227.
Keuka will receive a bye into day two of the double-elimination NEAC tournament, held Friday through Sunday at Penn State-Berks (16-10, 15-5), the champion of the South division.
The Green and Gold will play the winner of Wilson (Pa.) College (18-9, 15-5) and SUNY Poly (13-17, 11-9) at 11 a.m. Saturday.
The winner of the NEAC tournament receives the conference's automatic qualifier into the NCAA Division III tournament.
Keuka won six straight NEAC championships from 2007-12.
Warren struck out the side in the first, and added a strikeout during a 1-2-3 second before junior Ally Muller (Bath, N.Y./Haverling) staked the Green and Gold to a 1-0 lead on an RBI groundout in the third.
Warren struck out two more Wildcats in the bottom of the inning, but Poly scratched out two runs in the fourth to win. SUNY Poly capitalized on a pair of errors and back-to-back singles to score its runs.
The Wolfpack threatened in the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings but couldn't push across the tying run.
In the fifth, Blum and Cole delivered two-out singles, and Keuka had runners at second and third with two outs after Cole stole second, but Poly starter Fallon Reinold got a strikeout to end the inning.
In the seventh, Prince, a pinch-hitter, led off with a single. Blum reached first on an error on her sacrifice bunt attempt, and the Wolfpack had runners at second and third with only one out after Cole's sacrifice bunt.
But Reinold used back-to-back groundouts to end the game.
Warren took the hard-luck loss, falling to 8-3 after allowing two unearned runs on six hits with no walks in the complete-game loss.
In game two, Cole had a two-run single, sophomore Tally McDonald (Romulus, N.Y./Romulus) hit an RBI double, and Muller added an RBI single in the win.
Sophomore Brianna Bush (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan) allowed five runs (one earned) with three strikeouts and no walks to improve to 7-4.
Junior Jessica Parmiter (Cortland, N.Y./Homer) and freshman Mickenzie Palmer (Horseheads, N.Y./Horseheads) each recorded two hits, with Parmiter going 2-for-2 with two runs scored and a walk, and Palmer going 2-for-4.
Keuka struck for three runs in the second as Bush drew a one-out walk, Parmiter singled, and McDonald walked to load the bases.
Freshman Megan Wilbur (Waverly, N.Y./Waverly) drew a bases-loaded walk to force in Bush, and two batters later, Cole extended the lead to 3-0 with a two-run single into center field.
Poly got a run back in the third, but McDonald hit an RBI double and Keuka added a run on a wild pitch to take a 5-1 lead into the bottom of the fifth.
Muller's RBI single in the sixth extended the lead to 6-1, but the Wildcats threatened, scoring one run in the sixth and tacking on three more in the bottom of the seventh.
Leading 6-5 but with the tying run on second and the winning run on first after Krista Pristera's RBI single, Bush got Abby Black to groundout to Parmiter to end the game.