By: Matylda Zamudio
MONACA, Pa. – Fresh off a week-long spring training road trip, the Penn State Beaver women's softball team played strong in the home opener against Waynesburg University, where the Lady Lions scored two wins in Wednesday's doubleheader.
In game one, the Lady Lions looked electric early and managed to load their bases in the bottom of the second. Senior Dina Cable (Mannington/ Salem County Vo Tech), who was at-bat, knock the ball out to propel freshman Tyler Johnson (San Antonio/East Central), freshman Taylor Johnson (San Antonio/ East Central) and freshman Peyton Mattson(Irvine/University) safely to home plate (3-0).
The Lady Lions repeated their impressive offensive performance in the bottom of the third, which started with senior Vanessa Jackson (Snohomish) advancing both Tyler Johnson and Taylor Johnson to home base: Beaver now had five unanswered runs. Then with two outs, senior Brenna Cepull (Monaca/Central Valley) hit a sacrifice fly to left field and pushed Cable to score and wrap the inning with a 6-0 advantage for the Lady Lions. While the ladies of Waynesburg managed to land on the board in the top of the seventh with a single run, they couldn't recover from the early deficit, and the Lady Lions won their first game by a final score of 6-1.
Jackson led the offense, going 2 for 3 and also earned 2 RBIs followed by Cable, who went 1 for 3 in game one, earning one run and 3 RBIs.
Jackson was also on the mound for Beaver and earned the win (3-1) after she left with a 6-0 lead. She struck out three of the 23 batters faced in the game and only allowed three hits in the 6.0 innings she pitched. Jackson and was relieved by freshman Haley Velemirovich (Freedom), who faced the final six batters.
In game two, Beaver took an early lead after Tyler Johnson stole home plate in the bottom of the first (1-0). The teams went scoreless in the next three innings, but Waynesburg caught its second wind in the bottom of the fifth and scored three runs to pull ahead of Beaver (3-1). But Beaver's batters got hot at the bottom of the sixth, which prompted Cepull and Weible to score the first two runs of the inning and tie the game at 3-3. With momentum shifting back to Beaver, Cable, who was next at-bat, forged a two-run play by advancing both Taylor Johnson and Mattson to home base (5-3). Cable then wrapped Beaver's turn at-bat by scoring a run of her own to give Beaver a two-fold lead (6-3). But in the top of the seventh, Waynesburg didn't fold and scored two runs – the second of which came after a Waynesburg runner stole home base, cut Beaver's lead to 6-5. However, Waynesburg wasn't able to tie the game before collecting three outs and the Lady Lions earned their second win for the day, 6-5.
Taylor Johnson led the offense in game two, scoring one run and went 2 for 3 with 2 RBIs.
Junior Jessica Hughes (Hopewell), who was on the mound first for Beaver, earned the win (3-1) in game two after leaving with the lead. only allowed seven hits in the 6.1 innings she pitched and struck out three of the 30 batters she faced. Hughes was relieved Jackson, who faced the final two batters.
After today's match, Beaver is 6-4 overall for the season. The Lady Lions return to action on Saturday, Mar. 16. in a road game doubleheader against Thiel College. Game one starts at 1 p.m. followed by game two at 3 p.m.