CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. – Entering this afternoon's contest, Monroe Community College and Finger Lakes Community College had met 18 times in softball since 2004. The Tribunes have swept the series; and the Lakers, over the stretch, have only scored a total of 13 runs.
But, through six innings on Wednesday afternoon in front a season-high 113 spectators, one may have thought otherwise.
The Finger Lakes Community College softball team led Monroe Community College 5-2 entering the top half of the seventh inning, but the Tribunes rallied back for three runs to tie the game in the seventh inning, and then mustered four runs in the eighth inning to defeat the Lakers, 9-5.
The Tribunes jumped to an early 2-0 lead in the top half of the third inning. Monroe Community College capitalized on two consecutive doubles from Tabby McBride and Alexis Haley to break the scoreless tie.
The Lakers would chip away at the deficit. In the bottom half of the third inning, Kelly Kier would single to start the inning. After the next two batters were retired, Rachel Mertens singled home Kier to cut the Tribunes lead in half, 2-1.
In the bottom half of the fourth inning, the Lakers would manufacture another run. Sophomore Tamara Robertson singled to begin the inning. After the next two batters were retired, the Lakers would receive another two out knock from Kelly Kier to knot the game at 2-2.
The Lakers would break the game open for the time being in the bottom half of the fifth inning. Finger Lakes Community College would muster three runs on two hits, giving them their first lead of the game, 5-2. The Lakers benefited from three Monroe Community College defensive errors within the inning.
Monroe Community College would answer. In the top half of the seventh inning, the Tribunes scored three runs on two hits and a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 5-5. The Tribunes would hold the Lakers scoreless in the bottom half of the seventh inning to send the game to extra innings.
In the top of the eighth inning, the Tribunes rallied to score four runs on three hits.
In the bottom half of the eighth inning, the Lakers sent runners to second and third with nobody retired. Brianna Bush, who went eight innings to earn the victory for the Tribunes, struck out the next three Finger Lakes Community College hitters looking to end the game.
Mertens pitched eight innings in defeat. The Syracuse, N.Y. native gave up only six earned runs, and struck out four batters. Sophomore Cassidy Smyers arguably turned in the best defensive performance of the season, recording a team-high five putouts. The Wellsville, N.Y. native also threw out a runner at home plate from center field in the top of the eighth inning.
The Lakers finish the season at 14-23. The 14 wins is a six win improvement over the previous season.