Bears softball team unable to hold early lead against St. Catherine
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - 8:19 am

The SUNY Potsdam softball team is still seeking its first win after four days of competition at the Dot Richardson Tournament in Clermont, Florida.

On Tuesday, the Bears lost to Saint Catherine University (MN) 14-3 in six innings and then fell 9-2 to the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh (WI) in the late game.

Potsdam took an early lead against Saint Catherine when senior centerfielder Khalshia White (Saint Regis Falls, N.Y. / Saint Regis Falls) cracked a RBI double to drive in freshman Noelle Rufa (Helena, N.Y. / Saint Lawrence Central) in the bottom of the second inning for a 1-0 advantage.

The Bears were unable to hold the lead, however, as the Wildcats (1-4) roared back with a three-run third and followed it with a five-run fourth to take command.

Offensively, Potsdam third baseman Katie Marsman (Wantagh, N.Y. / Wyoming Seminary) knocked in White on a RBI single and senior first baseman Brittany Thivierge (Schuylerville, N.Y. / Schuylerville) plated freshman Jordan Ott (Hilton, N.Y. / Hilton) on a sacrifice fly RBI in the fifth to make it 8-3.

The Bears were hurt by four errors and eight walks that freshman pitcher Brittany Barr (Ogdensburg, N.Y. / Ogdensburg Free Academy) and sophomore Carina Chirinko (Fairport, N.Y. / Fairport) combined to throw on the mound.

White finished 1-for-1 with a RBI double, a walk, and a run scored. Marsman and Thivierge each batted 1-for-3 with a RBI single while Ott drew a pair of walks, stole a base and scored a run. Marsman also had a stolen base.

Barr (0-3) pitched four innings and allowed eight runs—only three earned—with seven hits and five walks.

For the Wildcats, Lindsey Klein went 3-for-5 with a double and three RBI. Alyssa Luedtke batted 2-for-4 with a walk and scored twice while Jessica Tyminski went 2-for-4 with a run, walk and a RBI.

St. Kate's pitcher Rachael Thompson (1-3) tossed six innings and allowed three runs—two earned—and struck out five. She walked four and allowed three hits.

In the second game, Wisconsin-Oshkosh topped Potsdam 9-2 behind a strong pitching performance by Jill Vondrak, who went the distance and struck out nine while only walking one.

The Titans (7-3) took it to the Bears (0-8) from the start by scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning that was spearheaded by a two-run double from junior catcher Katie Koepsel.

Vondrak (4-2) struck out the side in the third and did not allow a hit until there were two outs in the sixth inning. White had reached on a walk, stole second base and then scored on a RBI double by Ott. Sophomore second baseman Alexis Lerman (Fayetteville, N.Y. / Jamesville-Dewitt) then reached on an error by the second baseman. Ott came around to score on the play to cut the lead to 7-2.

Koepsel finished 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles and four RBI. Kassie Krueger went 3-for-4 with a run and a RBI and Taylor Loew was 2-for-3 with a run and a RBI.

Megan Johnson (0-3) allowed five earned runs in six innings of work. She struck out two and walked three.

Potsdam will play the concluding games of the Dot Richardson Tournament on Wednesday starting at 9 a.m. with a game against Elmhurst College (IL) and will follow up with a 1 p.m. scheduled matinee against Concordia University (WI).