Keuka College Softball Advances to NEAC Championship

Freshman pitcher Whitney Tyler earned the win in both games for Keuka College on Friday
Freshman pitcher Whitney Tyler earned the win in both games for Keuka College on Friday

READING, Pa. — Following a thrilling 2-1 walkoff victory over Wilson College to open the day, the Keuka College Softball team defeated top seed and tournament host Penn St.-Berks 3-2 to advance to the championship game in the 2018 North Eastern Athletic Conference Softball Tournament.

Keuka College 2 vs. Wilson College 1 – NEAC Tournament Second Round

The Phoenix took advantage of a leadoff single to start the game and scored in the top of the first inning for the early lead. Colleen Mooney rebounded in the circle and only allowed one hit in the next four innings.

On the other side, however, all-conference pitcher Megan Potter kept the Keuka College offense at bay for Wilson, allowing just two hits in the first six innings. The Wolves would trail 1-0 going into the bottom of the seventh inning.

Mickenzie Palmer led off the bottom of the seventh with a single to right. Katelyn Warren reached on an error to put the tying run at first base. The next batter was Janessa Vaadi. The junior ripped a double to left centerfield scoring th pinch runner Shelby Burgess and advancing Warren to third base as the winning run. Up to bat was Shannon Johnson and she singled down the left field line to score Warren and give Keuka College a 2-1 walkoff victory.

Lead Wolf: Vaadi continues to be big for Keuka College in the postseason. Following her two double performance on Thursday in the first round, she delivered the big double in the seventh inning to tie the game for the Wolves.

Keuka College 3 at Penn St.-Berks 2 – NEAC Tournament Winner's Bracket Final

Penn St.-Berks got RBI singles in both the first and second innings to take a 2-0 lead over Keuka College. The Wolves responded in the third. Jessie Hammers led off the inning with a bunt single. Brittany Vergason followed that with a single of her own as Keuka had two runners on and no outs. Following a groundout to advance the runners, Katelyn Warren hit a sacrifice fly to get the Wolves on the board. Janessa Vaadi came to the plate and hit another RBI double for Keuka College. Her shot down the right field line tied the game at 2-2.

Starting pitcher Whitney Tyler needed just nine pitches in the bottom of the third inning to retire the Nittany Lions and bring Keuka College back to the plate.

Maddie Dupuis led the fourth off with a single to right and moved to second on an error. Following a one-out walk, Jessie Hammers singled to center to load the bases. Brittany Vergason worked a walk for Keuka College to force in a run and give the Wolves a 3-2 lead.

Penn St-Berks was able to generate base runners against Keuka College, but Tyler was able to limit them and not allow a run to score. In the bottom of the seventh, the Nittany Lions got the tying run to third base with two outs, but Tyler retired the final batter for the 3-2 Keuka College victory.

Lead Wolf: Whitney Tyler threw her 10th complete game of the season. The freshman now has a 10-3 record for the Green and Gold in her first season.

KC Notes:

  • Keuka College remains a perfect 17-0 against Wilson College. 10 of those meetings have come in the NEAC Tournament
  • The Wolves snapped a two-game tournament losing streak and four-game overall streak to Penn St.-Berks. The all-time series is tied 11-11 but Berks holds a 6-3 advantage in NEAC Tournament games
  • Keuka College extends their school-record winning streak to 19 games, the third longest streak in the country
  • In the three playoff games, Janessa Vaadi has four hits, all doubles, has scored two runs and driven in three
  • Shannon Johnson had her career-high 10-game hitting streak snapped against Penn St.-Berks. It ranks in the top ten in Keuka College history
  • Freshman pitcher Whitney Tyler earned the win in both games for Keuka College after throwing two innings of relief against Wilson and going the complete game against Penn St.-Berks

Up Next for Keuka College: Keuka College will be playing in their 12th North Eastern Athletic Conference Championship on Saturday. The Wolves have now qualified for the final game in each of the last three seasons. The opponent for Keuka College is still to be determined as the conference tournament continues Friday evening and Saturday morning.