Softball Starts AMCC Tourney with 7-2 Win
ERIE, Pa. – The Penn State Altoona softball team got a late start to its Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Tournament opener, but the Lions did not let that prevent them from securing a win in their first game.
Number two seed Penn State Altoona defeated third seed Mount Aloysius College 7-2 in a game that was originally scheduled for Friday afternoon at Penn State Behrend, but was moved to 9:00 p.m. at Mercyhurst University's artificial turf field due to significant rain throughout the day Friday.
The location and time change did not affect Penn State Altoona (19-11), however, as the Lions took care of Mount Aloysius (18-14) to advance to a winners bracket game tomorrow, Saturday, May 7.
The Lions got strong pitching and hitting to power their first-day AMCC Tournament victory.
Casey Reese (Cresson, PA/Penn Cambria) tossed her 10th complete game of the season to record her ninth win of the year. Over seven innings of work, the right-hander limited Mount Aloysius to one earned run on seven hits and five walks while recording two strikeouts.
Gianna Hoppel (Lewistown, PA/Mifflin County) led the Lion bats by going 3-for-3 with two doubles, two runs scored, and one run batted in.
Three other Penn State Altoona hitters finished with a two-hit game. Brooke Boonie (Petersburg, PA/Juniata Valley) was 2-for-3 with a double, Jayde Burge (Philipsburg, PA/Philipsburg-Osceola) was 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored, and Reese went 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored.
The Lions put up a five spot in the bottom of the second inning to take a strong early lead. Boonie led off the frame with a double, and after Hoppel's single, pinch-runner Brooke Colledge (Everett, PA/Everett) scored on an infield error to provide Penn State Altoona with the game's first run. Reese and Burge each contributed RBI singles to make it 3-0, and a run-scoring groundout by Alyssa Fisher (Lock Haven, PA/Central Mountain) and an RBI double to left by Olivia Smith (Martinsburg, PA/Central) extended the Lions' advantage to 5-0.
Penn State Altoona increased its lead to 6-0 in the bottom of the third, when Hoppel reached on a double to right-center with one out and Reese drove her in with a base hit to center with two outs.
An Ella Pearson sacrifice fly in the top of the fifth got Mount Aloysius on the board, making the score 6-1. But the Lions got that run back in the bottom half of the inning, when Hoppel's RBI double to left-center scored Boonie to get Penn State Altoona's lead back to six, 7-1.
Mount Aloysius made it 7-2 in the top of the seventh on Whitney Cole's RBI single up the middle, but that capped the scoring for the game, as Penn State Altoona iced the victory and moved on to the winners bracket for day two of the AMCC Tournament.
Penn State Altoona will face top-seeded Penn State Behrend tomorrow, Saturday, May 7, in the third game of the day and seventh overall game of the tournament, as the action is scheduled to shift back to Behrend's field, weather permitting. The approximate start time for that game has been set for 1:00 p.m., though the actual start will depend on the length of games five and six.