Herkimer Softball Takes Two from Suffolk CC
Syracuse, NY -
If last season ended for the Herkimer College Softball Team with a bit of a bitter taste in their mouths after a 7-5 loss in the National Semifinal at the hands of Suffolk CC, the Generals were ready to quickly wash that away as they clashed Wednesday afternoon in a huge NJCAA Top 10 Showdown with those same Sharks that ended their season, as well as their string of 4 consecutive National Championship appearances. And ready they were, as the pre-season #2 nationally ranked Generals swept the #3 Suffolk Sharks in an early season battle by the scores of 7-3 in game 1 and 8-0 mercy rule victory after 5 innings in the nightcap.
Herkimer looked rusty early on after being off for the past two weeks since returning from their successful Southern Spring Training Trip as they struggled to find a groove offensively and defensively. Herkimer Freshman Kali Puppolo got the start in the circle and put up zero’s across the first 3 frames. After a couple of fielding miscues and mental gaff’s, along with a double down the leftfield line and 1-0 lead, with two outs and one on, Herkimer pitcher Kali Puppolo attacked Suffolk #2 hitter Macy Kane and she deposited it over the leftfield wall for a 3-0 Suffolk lead. However, Herkimer would answer right back in the bottom of the inning scoring three runs themselves. Shannon Moore and Brooke Snyder led off with back to back screaming doubles, followed by a Jennah Hogan walk and a Keeanna Wolcik 2rbi basehit to knot the game at 3. After going 1-2-3 in the top of the next frame, Herkimer came out swinging again, looking to do damage and put the Sharks away for good. Katelynn Stubbs got the party started by drawing a huge walk in the 5th, followed by a Taylor Zaino single. That brought up Shannon Moore and she pushed both runner over with a groundball to the right side. That brought up Snyder once again with two on and she delivered with a huge two out, two rbi basehit through the right side giving the Generals a 5-3 lead. Hogan followed that up with a monstrous oppo double to the left-center gap scoring another run and Keeanna Wolcik finished the scoring with another basehit driving in Hogan and staking Herkimer to a 7-3 lead. That would be all that Herkimer would need as Puppolo settled in nicely, retiring 8 of the next 9 she faced, including striking out the side in the 6th and driving her record to 4-1 on the season.
Herkimer came out of the gate strong in game 2, posting Herkimer starter Keeanna Wolcik to an early 3-0 lead after the first inning and that’s is all she would need. Zaino reached on an early Suffolk miscue and after swiping 2nd base, Moore hit a rocket for a double that just missed getting out of the ballpark to score Zaino. Great heads-up baserunning by Moore got her over to 3rd and Brooke Snyder hit a deep fly ball for a 2-0 lead. After getting hit by a pitch, Sgarlata would come around to score on a booming double off the bat of Keeanna Wolcik. Herkimer would get on the board again in the 3rd after another Snyder double. She would come around to score on a single by Sgarlata. Wolcik would help her own cause again with another basehit and later, she would be driven in on a single by Julianna Finnerty. Herkimer would strike again in the 4th, scratching two more runs on basehits by Katelynn Stubbs, Taylor Zaino and Shannon Moore, along with SacFly’s from Snyder and Hogan. The game would end in the bottom of the 5th after Wolcik reached on an error, Devin Fox (running for Wolcik) stole second and scored on Julianna Finnerty’s long triple to the leftfield gap. Defensively, the Genrals were extremely solid commiitng no errors, highlighted by a great 5-2-3 Double-Play. Wolcik was magnificent in the circle as was her battery-mate Biz Toscano, who called a beautiful game and made many stellar plays as the backstop. Wolcik went 5 innings, scattering 6 hits and no runs while striking out 4 and walking 2. Wolcik improved to 4-2 on the season while the Generals improve to 9-3 on the year.
Herkimer looks to open up Region 3 play Tuesday on the road at Broome CC at the Bagsai complex. First pitch is slated for 3pm.