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Clarkson softball gains dramatic first win in split against SUNY Potsdam


POTSDAM - A double to left-center by Lindsey Walsh (Lynn, MA) in the bottom half of the seventh ended a run of close calls for the Clarkson University softball team as the Golden Knights were able to mark one in the win column for the first time in program history with a walk-off victory in the nightcap of a doubleheader against crosstown rival SUNY Potsdam, 8-7, after falling in the opener by the slimmest of margins, 2-1, Thursday afternoon at Scott Field.

In christening their newly-built field with a split, the Golden Knights moved to 1-19 on the season and will take on St. Lawrence in Liberty League action Saturday afternoon. Potsdam saw its record change to 2-14 in 2014.

The opener saw a combined seven hits as both teams had trouble putting together much in the way of offense. Potsdam put runners on in the first two innings, but didn’t break through until the top of the fourth inning. Former St. Lawrence Central standout Molly McCuin reached on a hit by pitch and moved up on a single by Kelly Becker, and Katie Marsman delivered a pinch-hit single to plate the first run before Becker came around on a pair of wild pitches to give the Bears a 2-0 edge. Clarkson narrowed the deficit to a single run in the bottom of the sixth when Jamie Bridge (Plymouth, CT) reached on an error and moved to second on a groundout. Katie Pelton (Auburn, NH) then shot an opposite-field single to right to plate Bridge with Clarkson’s only run. After a walk put runners on first and second a pop up and a fly out ended the threat for the Knights. Pelton finished with six strikeouts while allowing four hits and two walks in a seven-inning complete-game effort, while Megan Johnson allowed just three hits and the unearned run in her seven innings for Potsdam, striking out six in the contest.

In game two, Potsdam scored a run on an RBI-single to center by Brittany Thivierge, but it was the Knights’ offense that would open up with three runs in the bottom half of the third. Bridge led off with a single and moved up on an error and sacrifice from Louise Terwilliger (Putney, VT). Katie Pelton then singled back to third, but the throw was offline and allowed Bridge to come around with the tying run. A single from Ali Schwenzfeier (East Haddam, CT) scored another run and an RBI-groundout by Kat Tamburro (Frankfort, NY) allowed another runner to cross the plate. In the bottom of the fourth, two more came around in similar manufactured fashion. Consecutive hits by MacKenzie Pelton (Glens Falls, NY), Alycia Short (Norfolk, NY) and Bridge pushed the first run across, and a sacrifice fly by Pelton sent another run scampering home to give Clarkson a 5-1 edge.

However, in the top of the fifth, Potsdam tied the game up with four runs with run-scoring hits by Marsman and Becker and a two-run error that ended the inning when Rachel Spiker was caught between bases. Potsdam would take the lead in the sixth on an RBI-triple by Jordan Ott, but the lead was short-lived as Clarkson tallied a pair in the bottom of the sixth. Bridge sent a one-out double to right-center and scored on a single to left by Terwilliger to tie the game. Alex Gaspar (Ontario, NY) then blooped a single to score Terwilliger, giving the Knights a 7-6 edge. The Bears responded with a run in the top of the seventh as Thivierge led off with a double and moved to third on a single by Becker. McCuin then sent a fly ball to left to score Thivierge, but Bridge ended the threat with a pair of strikeouts.

In the bottom half of the seventh, Kat Tamburro led off with a single to the leftside and the shortstop fielded the ball cleanly, but her throw was late and offline, allowing Tamburro to advance to second. Just a few pitches later, Walsh hit a gap, and though Tamburro moved back to the base initially to make sure the ball wasn’t caught, she was able to blaze home as the ball made it to the wall.

Clarkson posted season-highs with 14 hits and eight runs in game two, while Bridge was 4-4 and every Clarkson starter in the lineup recorded at least one hit. Bridge also went the distance to pick up the victory, her first of the season, striking out 11 in seven innings.

SLU 3-8, SUNY Canton 1-5: Kyle Plimpton threw a one-hitter and struck out 14 in the opening game of a nonconference doubleheader as the Saints defeated SUNY Canton (4-13) at SLU.

Natasha Bell and Marissa Boyer each went 3-for-4 in game two for the Saints (7-13). Aisha O’Connor, Nicole Matthews and Rebecca Allen each produced two-hit games in the second contest. Matthews also drove in four runs. Jordan Podkladek went 2-2 for the Kangaroos and Shannon Dowling drove in three runs.

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