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Balanced Effort Leads Lions to Sweep of Pitt-Greensburg

Balanced Effort Leads Lions to Sweep of Pitt-Greensburg

ALTOONA, Pa. – The Penn State Altoona softball team clicked in all three phases of the game during Wednesday afternoon's doubleheader against Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference opponent Pitt-Greensburg, getting strong pitching, error-free defense, and timely hitting in a sweep of the Bobcats at Stewart Athletic Field.

Penn State Altoona (9-8, 3-1 AMCC) rallied for a 4-2 win in game one, then blanked Pitt-Greensburg (2-19, 0-4 AMCC) 9-0 in a run rule-shortened game two.

Game One: Penn State Altoona 4, Pitt-Greensburg 2

The Lions shook off a sluggish start on offense to rally for a win, overcoming a 2-1 deficit in the bottom of the sixth to claim a two-run victory.

Casey Reese (Cresson, PA/Penn Cambria) had a solid start in the pitching circle to keep her team in the game, and she was rewarded with her fourth win of the season. The right-hander tossed a complete game, pitching seven innings and holding Pitt-Greensburg to two runs on seven hits and one walk while striking out five batters.

Brooke Boonie (Petersburg, PA/Juniata Valley) went 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored, and Brooke College (Everett, PA/Everett) was 1-for-2 with a double and three runs batted in. Madison Lucas (Philipsburg, PA/Philipsburg-Osceola) was 1-for-1 with two walks and a run scored, and Jayde Burge (Philipsburg, PA/Philipsburg-Osceola) also walked twice.

Penn State Altoona drew first blood in the bottom of the second inning, when Boonie led off with a single and later scored on a Colledge sacrifice fly to left.

But Pitt-Greensburg jumped ahead in the top of the fourth, after back-to-back RBI singles up the middle from Ashley Noel and Laila Smith gave the Bobcats a 2-1 advantage.

The Lions stranded four base runners over the next two innings but finally cashed in to take the lead in the bottom of the sixth. Boonie started the inning with a double, and Lucas walked to put two runners on. Gianna Hoppel (Lewistown, PA/Mifflin County) followed with a sacrifice bunt – her second of the game – to move both runners into scoring position, and Colledge came up with the go-ahead hit when her double to left-center drove in both runners to put Penn State Altoona up 3-2. Colledge later scored on a wild pitch to give the Lions a little breathing room, increasing their lead to two.

Reese and the Lions retired the Bobcats in order in the top of the seventh, clinching the game one victory.

Game Two: Penn State Altoona 9, Pitt-Greensburg 0 (Final/5 innings)

Penn State Altoona's bats carried over the momentum they established in game one, pounding out 15 hits to score nine runs over five innings. The Lions also got more spotless defense and good pitching.

Alyssa Fisher (Lock Haven, PA/Central Mountain) notched her second consecutive shutout, pitching five scoreless innings and limiting the Bobcats to just four hits and one walk to record her fifth win of the season.

Burge went 4-for-4 with a double and two RBI, while Hoppel went 3-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored. Colledge was 2-for-3 with a double, three RBI, and two runs scored, and Kristen Hewitt (Coalport, PA/Glendale) went 2-for-2 with two runs scored and a walk. Fisher recorded two RBI.

Penn State Altoona got four runs across in the bottom of the second inning to open the scoring. Boonie's walk and singles by Hewitt and Hoppel loaded the bases, and Colledge cleared them with a three-run double to left center. One batter later, Burge's two-out RBI single to center made it 4-0.

The Lions got another run-producing, two-out hit in the bottom of the third, when Hoppel's base hit into left field drove in a run with two outs to increase the home team's lead to 5-0.

Penn State Altoona invoked the eight-run rule by scoring three more runs on five consecutive hits in the bottom of the fifth. After Lucas and Hewitt started the frame with base hits, Hoppel followed with an RBI single to left to make it 6-0. Colledge's base hit to left loaded the bases, and Fisher provided a two-run single to left to ice a win for Penn State Altoona, making it 8-0. Play was allowed to continue, however, and Burge followed with the Lions' sixth straight hit of the inning, an RBI single to left that made the score 9-0 before umpires ended the contest.

Penn State Altoona softball hits the road tomorrow, Thursday, April 14, for its next games, traveling to Bradford, Pa. to face AMCC opponent Pitt-Bradford in a doubleheader beginning at 3:00 p.m.