Softball Sweeps Alfred State to End Regular Season

Freshman Mickenzie Palmer drove in three runs in Thursday's non-conference doubleheader sweep of Alfred State (photo courtesy of Ed Webber).
Freshman Mickenzie Palmer drove in three runs in Thursday's non-conference doubleheader sweep of Alfred State (photo courtesy of Ed Webber).

The Keuka College softball team picked up a non-conference doubleheader sweep of Alfred State Thursday afternoon to end the regular season.

The Wolfpack (17-7), who claimed the North Eastern Athletic Conference's (NEAC) North division regular-season title, knocked off the Pioneers (11-23) by scores of 7-3 and 7-0 to head into this weekend's NEAC tournament with some momentum after closing the regular season having won seven of eight.

In the opener, junior Mackenzie Cole (Ogdensburg, N.Y./Ogdensburg Free Academy) was 3-for-4 with two RBI, two runs scored and a stolen base, and classmate Ally Muller (Bath, N.Y./Haverling) was 2-for-3 with two RBI to back junior Liz Warren (Elmira Heights, N.Y./Thomas A. Edison), who tossed another quality start on the mound.

Warren improved to 9-3 after allowing three runs (two earned) on eight hits with six strikeouts and one walk in another complete-game win.

Cole recorded a pair of triples, Warren was 2-for-3 with an RBI, and freshman Mickenzie Palmer (Horseheads, N.Y./Horseheads) added an RBI for the Wolfpack.

Muller had a two-run single in the first, but Alfred State scored one run in the fourth and two in the fifth to seize a 3-2 lead. Then the Green and Gold pounced for four runs in the bottom of the fifth to pull away.

Cole had an RBI triple and later scored on a wild pitch, Palmer plated a run on a groundout, and Warren added an RBI single for a 6-3 lead.

Cole's second RBI triple of the game concluded the scoring in the sixth as Keuka won the opener.

In the nightcap, sophomore Brianna Bush (Penn Yan, N.Y./Penn Yan) tossed a four-hit shutout with one walk and five strikeouts to win for the eighth time in nine starts.

Bush, who added an RBI on a sacrifice fly, threw 65 of her 82 pitches for strikes and lowered her ERA to 2.14 in improving to 8-4 on the year. She retired the side in the first, second and fifth innings.  

Sophomore Samantha Blum (Niskayuna, N.Y./Colonie) and freshman Katelyn Warren (Elmira Heights, N.Y./Thomas A. Edison) added home runs in support of Bush.

Blum was 2-for-4 with three runs scored and a solo home run, Warren was 1-for-1 with a two-run homer, and Palmer was 2-for-4 with two RBI for the Green and Gold.

Muller was 3-for-4 with a run scored, freshman Leah Parker (Rush, N.Y./Rush-Henrietta) was 2-for-3 with an RBI, and sophomore Tally McDonald (Romulus, N.Y./Romulus) was 2-for-3 as Keuka completed the sweep.

Warren slugged a two-run homer in the first, and Keuka tacked on four runs in the third. Blum hit a leadoff homer, Palmer had an RBI double, Bush had a sacrifice fly, and Parker had an RBI single to put the Wolfpack up 6-0.

Palmer's RBI single in the fourth capped the scoring for the Green and Gold.

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.