NCAA Softball Tournament: SUNY Plattsburgh shutouts Owls 15-0
AMHERST, MA 5/12/12 – After winning its first two games in the tournament, the Keene State College softball team had not answers against a powerful SUNY Plattsburgh (N.Y.) State line-up, suffering a 15-0 five-inning shutout loss to the 23rd ranked Cardinals at the NCAA Division III Amherst Regional Tournament on Saturday.
The fourth seeded Owls (27-11-1) will have to battle back from the losers' bracket if it hopes to capture the regional tournament. Keene State will play the winner of the game between top-ranked SUNY-Cortland and third seed Amherst College on Sunday at noon. The only remaining undefeated team left in the tournament, Plattsburgh State (34-9), the second seed, needs just one win on Sunday to secure the championship. They are scheduled to play the winner of Keene State's game at 2 p.m. If an additional game is needed to decide the title, it will be played on Monday (10 a.m.).
Plattsburgh St. scored early and often, pushing across a run in every inning en route to the decisive victory. Sophomore Samantha Capobianco finished 3-for-3 with five RBI, belting a grand slam as part of a five-run third, while freshman Brittany Marshall and sophomore Megan Price combined for a four hits, including a pair of triples in the second. Seven different players contributed to the Cardinals' 12-hit effort, as Plattsburgh notched a homer in its third-consecutive NCAA game.
"Plattsburgh had a great day. They just hit balls that were uncatchable, you mix in a walk and an error and before you know it things are way out of hand," said KSC Coach Charlie Beach. "We did everything to stop it. We used four pitchers, but they killed everybody. It's just a bad day."
After two strong outings in the circle, senior Emily Albin (Bethel, Conn.) lasted just 1.2 innings, giving up four runs on three hits. Her record falls to 13-5. Senior Heather Loughran pitched 4.2 innings in the win, scattering seven hits.
Jumping out to an early lead on sophomore Brianna Clarke's RBI groundout in the top of the first, Plattsburgh extended its margin to 4-0 in the second thanks to a pair of Price and Marshall triples. Keene State senior centerfielder Laura Chandler (Wakefield, Mass.) had the defensive play of the game for the Owls, in the second throwing out a Cardinal runner trying to score from second on a single.
Plattsburgh continued its assault on the third. With the bases loaded and nobody out, Senior Katie McNally drew a walk to force in another run before Capobianco belted a grand slam to blow the game open.
Continuing to go on the offensive, Plattsburgh once again loaded the bases in front of Capobianco in the fourth and the sophomore delivered, notching a bloop single to center to make it 10-0. With the bases still full of Cardinals, Senior Dana Mandery doubled in two more runs before a Keene error coupled with a senior Allison Smiddy rope into the left centerfield gap extended the Plattsburgh cushion to 15.
"At least we have a game on Sunday, but Cortland and Amherst are both tough teams," said Beach. "I don't know how this team will react to this loss. This was a beating we didn't anticipate and I think this is really going to test their mettle, especially because the seniors are one loss away from the end of a career. So that adds to the pressure."