Softball Falls to Bethany Lutheran, Rallies Past Gordon
CLERMONT, Fla. – Penn State Altoona softball split its games on Wednesday, taking a close loss in its first contest of the day before coming back for a strong win in game two at Hancock Park.
Penn State Altoona (2-5) fell behind early in its first game of the day, and the Lions' rally fell short in a 5-3 loss to Bethany Lutheran College. In game two, the Lions overcame an early deficit to defeat Gordon (2-4) by a final score of 7-5.
Game One: Bethany Lutheran 5, Penn State Altoona 3
Bethany Lutheran (7-4) got out to a 5-1 lead through five innings, and a late comeback attempt by Penn State Altoona came up short.
Casey Reese (Cresson, PA/Penn Cambria) started in the circle and pitched four innings, surrendering two earned runs on five hits and three walks and striking out three batters. Alyssa Fisher (Lock Haven, PA/Central Mountain) tossed three innings in relief, allowing one run on five hits and a walk with one strikeout.
The Lion bats were limited to four hits, as Reese, Fisher, Brooke Boonie (Petersburg, PA/Juniata Valley), and Gianna Hoppel (Lewistown, PA/Mifflin County) each collected a hit for Penn State Altoona. Boonie, Hoppel, and Jayde Burge (Philipsburg, PA/Philipsburg-Osceola) each finished with a run batted in, and Burge and Olivia Smith (Martinsburg, PA/Central) each walked twice.
Bethany Lutheran scored three runs in the top of the second on a wild pitch, a bases loaded walk, and a throwing error.
Penn State Altoona made it 3-1 in the bottom of the second when Burge was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. But the Vikings extended their lead to 5-1, as an error allowed one run to come across in the fifth and an RBI single brought another one in during the sixth.
The Lions threatened in the bottom of the seventh, getting two runs across and putting the go-ahead run on base. College walked to start the inning, and Fisher singled to put two runners on. One batter later, a missed catch in the outfield allowed College to score, and Hoppel's RBI single to center made it 5-3. After a fielder's choice, Burge walked to load the bases with two outs. But a flyout ended the game and preserved the win for Bethany Lutheran.
Game Two: Penn State Altoona 7, Gordon 5
Penn State Altoona fell behind 2-0 to Gordon (2-4) after the first two innings, then found itself in a 3-3 tie through four innings. But the Lions got four runs across in the top of the fifth and held on to pick up their second win of the season.
Cameryn Feathers (Martinsburg, PA/Central) was 2-for-3 with a double, a home run, three RBI, and a run scored. Smith went 2-for-4 with a double, a triple, two RBI, and two runs scored, and College was 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored.
Makenzie Lukehart (Utahville, PA/Glendale) started at pitcher and finished with a no decision, throwing two innings and allowing two earned runs. Fisher tossed two scoreless innings with two strikeouts to pick up her first collegiate victory in the circle, and Reese recorded her first collegiate save by pitching the final three innings and limiting Gordon to two runs to hold the Penn State Altoona lead.
Gordon claimed the early advantage by scoring a run in each of the first two innings. In the bottom of the first, Ami Rivera's RBI single to right-center gave the Scots a 1-0 lead, and in the second inning, Karissa Hatchell stole second and allowed Isabella Rivera to score from third on the play to make it 2-0.
Penn State Altoona responded by putting together a three-run top of the third to jump ahead. College led off with a base hit to center, and Payne followed by reaching on a throwing error during her sacrifice bunt to put two runners aboard. After Burge's sac bunt moved both runners into scoring position, a groundout to second by Lucas got the Lions' first run across. Smith followed with an RBI triple to right-center to tie the score, and Feathers drove her in with an RBI double.
Gordon answered by coming up with another run in their half of the third to tie the score at 3-3. After Ami Rivera led off with a triple to right, Arianna Ramsaran reached base on an outfield error that allowed Rivera to score.
The Lions came up with four runs in the fifth to once again leap ahead on the scoreboard. College led off with a double, and Payne followed with a single to put runners at the corners. One batter later, Lucas' groundout to second drove College in to put Penn State Altoona ahead, 4-3. After that, Smith doubled to left-center to plate Payne, and Feathers hit a two-run homer to center to make it 7-3.
Gordon drew closer in the fifth, when Hannah Bouvier's RBI single through the right side of the infield made it a three-run game. The Scots cut the Penn State Altoona lead to two in the sixth, when Hatchell started things off with a triple and scored on Lily Rivera's base hit to right.
But the Lions allowed no further damage, closing the door on any Gordon comeback hopes to wrap up Penn State Altoona's second victory.
Next up, Penn State Altoona will head into the second and final off day of its week, and the Lions will return to action for two more games on Friday, March 11. That day, the team will face SUNY-Potsdam at 10:15 a.m. before facing Eastern Nazarene University at 12:30 p.m. Both games will be at field #4 in the Sleepy Hollow Sports Complex.