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Softball: Bethlehem doubles up Guilderland

Kitchen's blast helps Lady Eagles get past South Division rival

— When Rebekah Kitchen made contact with the ball late in the fifth inning, she didn't know exactly where it went.

It wasn't until she was pulling into second base that the senior third-baseman saw the ball go over the fence and lift the Bethlehem Eagles to an 8-4 victory over visiting Guilderland Wednesday in a Suburban Council South Division softball game.

"The pitch was a little inside, and I just waited on it," said Kitchen of her home run. "I saw it go up in the air, but I thought the wind caught it up. It wasn't until I was going into second that I saw it go out."

With the game tied at 4, Cassie Smith led off the fifth inning with a triple and scored on McKenzie Pezze's bunt single. Mikayla Shade then doubled deep to centerfield to drive in Pezze prior to Kitchen's 2-run shot.

"We were going back-and-forth scoring," Bethelehem coach Karen Gentile said. "Both pitchers battled with the conditions. Then Kitchen got the bat on the ball, and we were able to break it open."

"We played a great game," said Guilderland coach Lou Marino. "They (Bethlehem) got a couple of breaks and one good swing. We will get them next time."

Bethlehem (2-0) took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on RBI hits by Pezze and Sammy Smaldone. Guilderland (1-1) got on the scoreboard in the top of the second on Morgan TenEyck's single, and Jess Peck tied the game at 2 in the third inning with a run-scoring double.

Bethlehem regained the lead in the bottom of the third inning. Smaldone drove in one run with a single, and Shade added a second run with a bunt single to put the Lady Eagles ahead 4-2.

Guilderland battled back with two runs in the top of the fifth inning on RBI singles from Peck and Taylor TenEyck, but Bethlehem pitcher Meagan Sullivan settled down after that to keep the Lady Dutch off the scoreboard the rest of the afternoon.

"I was a little shaky in the beginning, and it was good to get it over with," said Sullivan, who finished with eight strikeouts in the complete-game victory. "I was missing the corners and it started creating problems, but my defense came through."

"I am very happy with this win," said Gentile. "We've known Guilderland for a long time. We know their players, and we know what they can do."

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