Red Dragons defeat Bears in home opener


POTSDAM, N.Y. – The SUNY Potsdam softball team (6-12, 0-10 SUNYAC) dropped two games to SUNY Cortland (13-11, 6-2 SUNYAC) by a score of 12-6 and 12-2 Sunday afternoon.

It was the Red Dragons who would strike first in the top of the first inning, capitalizing on a fielding error from Potsdam to take an early 4-0 lead. Junior Ashley Thayer returned the favor in the later half of the inning, crossing the plate on an error by the opposing catcher. The junior answered again in the second stanza with a bases loaded walk and an RBI to decrease the Cortland lead to 4-2. Yet, the Red Dragons put pressure on Thayer and the Bears in the field to notch six more runs over the next three innings to claim a 10-2 advantage going into the bottom of the sixth. Potsdam would keep fighting and a balk by the pitcher with runners in scoring position kept the Bears alive going into the final inning. Despite two more runs in the top of the seventh Potsdam continued to battle. Freshman Alexis Lerman sparked the Bears with a single through the left side, bringing in junior Molly McCuin. Shortly after, senior captain Heather Johnson notched a double to the right center fence to drive in two more runs. However, junior relief pitcher Krista Oakes secured the final strikeout of the game to give Cortland the 12-6 decision.

Johnson led the Bears, hitting one for three while driving in two runs and earning two walks. Freshman Diane Cork was the top performer for the Red Dragons, going three for three with two RBIs. Thayer allowed seven hit in six innings pitched and recorded three strikeouts.

In the second contest, Cortland used a strong second inning to pull away from Potsdam in a 12-2 victory. The Red Dragons were able to solve freshman pitcher Jordan Sarat after one inning to secure eight runs in the second. Sophomore Erin Wolstenholme ignited the Cortland bats with a homerun to left center to start off the inning. It was then an error by Potsdam that continued to fuel the Red Dragon run before freshman pitcher Carina Chirinko and the defense ended the inning. Cortland remained persistent as three more runs in the fifth extended the Red Dragon lead to 12-0. Potsdam would make one final push as senior Amanda Perry connected on a double to left center, bringing in two runs. Yet, Cortland was able to get out of the jam and close out the 12-2 win in five innings.

Perry concluded two for three with two RBIs. Wolstenholme finished with four RBIs in a three for four showing at the plate. Sophomore Sarah Salamone pitched five innings and notched three strikeouts in the win.

Potsdam returns to the diamond tomorrow against Oswego State at Maxcy Softball Field. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.