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SUNY Potsdam’s Heather Johnson no-hits SLU

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CANTON - The SUNY Potsdam softball team (6-6) traveled down the road to face St. Lawrence University (7-7) in a North Country doubleheader Thursday afternoon.

The Bears split with the Saints, winning 1-0 and then falling 9-8 in extra innings. Junior pitcher Megan Johnson (Heuvelton, N.Y.) recorded her first career no-hitter. Johnson joins fellow teammate Ashley Thayer (Winthrop, N.Y.) as the only two pitchers to throw no hit games in a Potsdam uniform.

In game one, Potsdam rallied behind a stellar pitching performance by Johnson. The Bears notched an early run and then used solid defense in the 1-0 win. Senior captain Heather Johnson (Heuvelton, N.Y.) got Potsdam off to a fast start with a double to left center field in the first inning. Shortly after, sophomore Carissa Cornwell (Homer, N.Y.) would step up to the plate and drive in Heather Johnson to record the only run of the contest. The Saints threatened in the fourth inning after a walk and a miscue by the Bears put the tying run on third. St. Lawrence’s Liz McGinley (Canastota, NY) was poised to bring in her teammate. However, a fly out to Cornwell in right field and a great throw to home would preserve the 1-0 advantage. Potsdam used the momentum to help Johnson secure the school’s third no-hitter and the victory.

At the plate, Heather Johnson was one for three with a double and one run. Cornwell went one for three with one RBI. Megan Johnson recorded four strikeouts and one walk in seven innings in tossing the no-hitter.

In the nightcap, Potsdam built a 6-0 lead with the help of six hits over the course of three innings. In bottom of the sixth inning, St. Lawrence begin to cut into the deficit when Cavellier led off with a single, stole second base, and then scored on a single to centerfield from Liz McGinley.

Lauren Weisbarth and Becky Allen both drew walks to load the bases for the Saints, and after Potsdam made the second out of the inning, a fielding error by the first baseman allowed Weisbarth to score. A wild pitch brought Allen home, and then another Potsdam fielding error brought Kieltyka in, bringing the score to 6-4 in favor of Potsdam.

After Potsdam stretched their lead to 7-4 when Heather Johnson singled and would come around to score, the Saints rallied for three runs in the seventh to force an extra inning. With one out, St. Lawrence landed runners on first and second base after consecutive hit by pitches.

Cailyn Welsh followed with a short hit to Potsdam’s relief pitcher Ashley Thayer, who looked to get the lead runner but did not make the throw, loading the bases. A sacrifice fly from Allen brought McGinley home, and then a wild pitch allowed Weisbarth to score to bring the Saints within one, 7-6.

At that point, Jordan Sarat, who pitched the Bears to a 6-0 lead through four innings, re-entered the game to try to get her team out of the jam. However, Caroline Kieltyka hit a high fly between second base and right field that proved trouble and hit off a fielder’s glove before landing on the ground, allowing Welsh, the game-tying run, to score to force extra innings.

In the eighth inning with a runner on second base due to the international tiebreaker rule, Potsdam laid down two perfect sacrifice bunts to bring a run in and take a 8-7 lead. St. Lawrence responded with a push bunt single from Audra Caine that moved Leslie Stratton to third base, followed by an RBI single to right field from Chelsea Cavellier.

Potsdam opted to load the bases and then forced Caine out at the plate on Weisbarth’s fielder’s choice. However, Sarat would walk Welsh in the next at bat, allowing the game-winning run to score to give St. Lawrence the 9-8 win.

McGinley earned the win on the mound as she gave up four earned runs off nine hits and struck out nine. Sarat suffered the loss as she allowed six hits and one earned run in 4.2 innings with five strike outs.

Thivierge led the Bears, going two for three and recording two RBIs. Heather Johnson concluded three for four with two runs scored and one RBI. Megan Johnson added a two for four performance and tallied one RBI. Sarat recorded five strikeouts in 4.2 innings pitched and allowed six hits.

Potsdam returns to action this afternoon on the road against SUNY New Paltz in a SUNYAC doubleheader at 3 p.m.

CANTON SOFTBALL GAINS SWEEP

The SUNY Canton softball team ran their winning streak to five games as they swept Wells College 9-2 and 18-2 in a doubleheader Thursday afternoon in Aurora.

The Roos improved to 9-11 overall and have been on a tear since returning from spring break, winning nine of their last 11 games. SUNY Canton has out scored their opponents 66-18 during their five-game unbeaten run.

In game one on Thursday, the Roos held a slim 2-1 lead after four innings thanks to a two-run home run by sophomore Hallie Fenti (Hornell, N.Y.) in the top of the second inning. The visiting team opened up the game with a big four-run fifth inning fueled by an RBI-double down the left –field line by senior Tina DeLuca (Fresh Meadows, N.Y.) , RBI-singles from junior Allie Gibson (North Tonawanda, N.Y.) and freshman Kristyn Reynolds (Malone, N.Y.), and a Wells throwing error.

SUNY Canton tacked on one more run in the sixth inning when sophomore Jessica Rhodes (Alpine, N.Y.) scored off another Wells error, and two more runs in the seventh off a Rhodes two-run double to left-center field.

Gibson collected the win on the mound striking out a season-high nine batters while allowing six hits and one earned run in seven innings.

The Roos took control of the second game early posting nine runs in the top of the first against The Express, who were playing their first two games of the season after numerous weather postponements. The Roos put up three more runs in the third inning and closed out the game with a six-run fourth inning.

Junior Andrea Rogers (Munnsville, N.Y.) blasted a pair of two-run home runs and finished 3-for-4 with five RBIs and a double. Rogers went deep to left field in the third inning and then cleared the fence for her team-leading fifth home run in the fourth inning. Rogers also had an RBI-double in that decisive first inning.

DeLuca ripped a pair of triples including a two-run shot in the first and she also brought in a run in the inning with a sacrifice fly to center field. Junior Nicole Mulieri (Afton, N.Y.) added a two-single in the first inning and Fenti contributed an RBI-single.

DeLuca finished with four RBIs and also notched the win on the mound fanning seven batters in five innings giving up just four hits and two earned runs.

Junior Destiny Petty (Flushing, N.Y.) added a double and two RBIs for SUNY Canton.

Kylie Nishioka had a double and a single in game one and homered in game two to lead Wells.

SUNY Canton heads to New York City this weekend for a doubleheader at Brooklyn College on Saturday and a doubleheader at Briarcliffe College on Sunday.

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