The top-seeded softball team (28—11 overall, 12—0 Empire 8) advanced to the semifinals of the Empire 8 Conference Championship with a 6-2 win against the Alfred University Saxons (26—13 overall, 7—5 Empire 8) Friday afternoon on Kostrinsky Field. Down early, the Blue and Gold overcame a two-run deficit in the late innings of the game to stun their upset-minded opponents.
Alfred started the game hot with a two-run first inning and held the South Hill squad hitless in their first set of at-bats.
After a slow start, the Bombers’ defense quickly settled down and sophomore pitcher Sam Bender pitched a scoreless second inning before being replaced by sophomore pitcher Jillian Olmstead. The reliever Olmstead stepped up for the Blue and Gold and pitched a hitless 4 2/3 innings to close out the game, leaving the game in the capable hands of the potent Bombers’ offense.
It took the South Hill squad three innings to get on the scoreboard, but once the runs started coming, they didn’t stop.
In the fourth, sophomore second basemen Julianne Vincent scored on a fielding error for the Bombers’ first run. The fifth inning saw an offensive explosion by the South Hill squad. Four of their six runs came in that inning – including an RBI single that sophomore first basemen Sydney Folk legged out into a double to tie the game and a clutch sacrifice fly from junior catcher Lindsey Johnson.
The Bombers advanced in the tournament to take on second-seeded St. John Fisher College (31—11 overall, 8—4 Empire 8) in the winner’s bracket game Saturday on Kostrinsky Field.