Softball Splits with Mounties in Final Home Doubleheader
ALTOONA, Pa. – The Penn State Altoona softball team hosted its final regular season games at Stewart Athletic Field on Wednesday afternoon, facing nearby Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference opponent Mount Aloysius College for a doubleheader amid cold and blustery weather conditions.
Mount Aloysius (15-11, 7-5 AMCC) ended Penn State Altoona's nine-game winning streak by prevailing 7-4 in game one, but the Lions (16-9, 10-2 AMCC) struck back with a 10-5 victory in a game two that was called early due to darkness.
Game One: Mount Aloysius 7, Penn State Altoona 4
Penn State Altoona was plagued by its inability to capitalize with runners on base, as the Lions finished the game with 14 runners left on base. Penn State Altoona's offense generated 13 hits, but the bats were unable to produce the big inning needed to overcome an early deficit.
Gianna Hoppel (Lewistown, PA/Mifflin County) went 4-for-4 to lead the Lion hitters, also recording two runs batted in, one run scored, and one stolen base. Cameryn Feathers (Martinsburg, PA/Central) was 3-for-4 with a double and a run scored.
Casey Reese (Cresson, PA/Penn Cambria) started game one at pitcher for the Lions and took the loss, surrendering five earned runs over six innings of work. Makenzie Lukehart (Utahville, PA/Glendale) tossed a scoreless seventh inning in relief.
Mount Aloysius came out strong by putting two runs on the board in the top of the first, using an RBI double by Tawnya Holben and RBI single from Lilley Vereshack to make it 2-0.
Penn State Altoona got a run back in the bottom of the first to cut the Mounties' lead to 2-1. Fisher reached on a one-out infield hit and later scored on a two-out error by Mount Aloysius to bring the home team to within one.
But the Mounties tacked two more runs on to their total in the top of the third. Vereshack's RBI double boosted her team's advantage back to two, and Bella Piacesi followed with an RBI single up the middle to make it 4-1.
The Lions answered a Mount Aloysius scoring inning quickly again, getting a run across in the bottom of the third on Hoppel's two-out RBI single into right field.
Mount Aloysius added on in the top of the fourth, boosting their lead to 7-2. Whitney Cole's RBI single to left-center opened the scoring in the frame, and a Lion error allowed two more Mountie runs to come across later in the inning to give the visitors a five-run advantage.
Penn State Altoona trimmed its deficit to four in the bottom of the fifth, when Hoppel's RBI single through the left side made it 7-3. The Lions came to within 7-4 in the bottom of the seventh, when Burge's RBI groundout to second allowed Hoppel to score from third.
But missed opportunities loomed large for Penn State Altoona by the conclusion of their three-run loss.
Game Two: Penn State Altoona 10, Mount Aloysius 5 (Final/6 innings)
The Lions' bats continued to get runners aboard, but, in this game, Penn State Altoona came up with the key hits needed to generate more runs. The home team scored 10 runs on 15 hits before the game was ended early due to darkness.
Six different Penn State Altoona players finished with two hits each.
Brooke Boonie (Petersburg, PA/Juniata Valley) finished 2-for-3 with two runs scored, one RBI, and one walk, and Kristen Hewitt (Coalport, PA/Glendale) was 2-for-3 with four RBI, a run scored, and a walk. Brooke Colledge (Everett, PA/Everett) was also 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI.
Burge went 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored, Fisher was 2-for-4 with a stolen base, and Feathers hit 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Hoopel added a 1-for-3 effort with two runs scored, two RBI, and a walk.
In the circle, Fisher got the start and pitched a complete game for her ninth win of the season. In six innings, she allowed two earned runs on seven hits and three walks while recording four strikeouts.
Mount Aloysius appeared poised to carry over momentum from its game one win, scoring four runs in the top of the first. Holben's two-run single to left started the scoring, and Alexa Nagy drove in two more with her base hit into left.
But Penn State Altoona put together a seven-run bottom of the first to surge ahead. Boonie's RBI single to center put the Lions on the board, and Hoppel drew a bases-loaded walk to bring in another run. Hewitt followed with a two-run single to right-center, tying the score at 4-4. One batter later, Colledge drove in the go-ahead run with her RBI single to shortstop, and Burge came next with a two-run single down the left field line that extended the Penn State Altoona lead to 7-4.
The Lions added three more runs to their lead in the bottom of the second. Hoppel's RBI single through the right side made it 8-4, and Hewitt followed with a two-run single to left to get Penn State Altoona to 10 runs.
Mount Aloysius scored a run in the top of the fourth to make it 10-5. Kayla Diehl led off with a single, stole second, moved to third on another base hit, and eventually stole home.
But Penn State Altoona kept the Mounties off of the scoreboard the rest of the way to close out the win. The game ended early when officials called it due to darkness with two outs in the bottom of the sixth.
Penn State Altoona softball returns to action for another important AMCC doubleheader this Friday, April 29, when the team will travel to take on Pitt-Bradford in a doubleheader beginning at 3:00 p.m.