Briner tosses shutout, Becker homers as Bears blank Fredonia 4-0 to pick up first win of season


It had been 17 days since the SUNY Potsdam softball team had last played in an actual game.

A long cry from playing games in the Dot Richardson Tournament in Clermont, Florida, a return to New York State resulted in several postponements due to ongoing wintry weather and sloppy field conditions.

In addition, the Bears had been seeking its first victory of the 2014 season entering its doubleheader at Fredonia on Saturday afternoon.

And, Potsdam was able to achieve that by splitting a doubleheader, losing 3-2 in the first game and then bounced back for a 4-0 win in game two.

In game two, senior Megan Briner (Corinth, N.Y. / Corinth) tossed a shutout in allowing six hits while walking one.  Briner induced 13 groundball outs including a key 5-3 double play, five fly ball outs and two strikeouts.

Freshman left fielder Kelly Becker (Mahopac, N.Y. / Mahopac) batted 2-for-3 including her first career home run while Brittany Thivierge (Schuylerville, N.Y. / Schuylerville) had a RBI single with a stolen base to lead the Bears (1-11, 1-1 SUNYAC).

Freshman shortstop and leadoff hitter Jordan Ott (Hilton, N.Y. / Hilton) drew two walks, stole a base and scored.

The bottom of the fourth inning had an ominous beginning as Briner (1-3) worked in and out of trouble after allowing a double by Cherlse Gunnell and a single by Jess Lauck.

But, Briner got the double play ball that she was seeking as Erin Mushtare grounded to senior third baseman Molly McCuin (Winthrop, N.Y. / St. Lawrence Central) who stepped on third before throwing over to the first baseman Thivierge to complete the double play. 

Briner followed by getting Madeline Medina to fly out to center to end the threat.

In game one, the Bears hung tough before losing 3-2 behind a solid pitching performance by senior Megan Johnson (Heuvelton, N.Y. / Heuvelton), who allowed no earned runs in six innings of work.

Potsdam committed three costly errors that all led to runs in the first and second innings.

The Bears closed the gap to 3-2 in the top of the third inning when Ott doubled home senior center fielder Khalshia White (Saint Regis Falls, Saint Regis Falls) and freshman right fielder Noelle Rufa (Helena, N.Y. / St. Lawrence Central).

Potsdam will reshuffle their schedule once again tomorrow when it will travel to play a doubleheader at Buffalo State.  The games were originally scheduled for Friday, but field conditions were deemed unplayable by umpires. 

The doubleheader at Cortland that was originally rescheduled for Sunday has no make up date as of yet.