By: Matylda Zamudio
MONT ALTO, Pa. – After Penn State Beaver women's softball team pocketed two PSUAC wins at home yesterday against Penn State Mont Alto, the teams faced off again on Mont Alto's home-field on Sunday afternoon, where the Lady Lions split in the second doubleheader.
Beaver's offense set the tone early in the first inning after senior Dina Cable (Mannington/ Salem County Vo Tech) reached first base on an error by Mont Alto's left fielder to drive-in Mattson (1-0) followed by senior Brenna Cepull (Monaca/Central Valley), who hit the ball to left field for a two-out RBI single to propel Cable home (2-0). But Mont Alto answered back with two runs in the bottom of the inning to tie the game at 2-2. But Beaver's batters responded swiftly to take back the lead, which began with freshman Taylor Johnson (San Antonio/ East Central) advancing junior Lacey Weible (Hookstown/South Side) after she reached first on an error by the left fielder. Taylor Johnson then stole both second and third base and went on to score on a throw to put the Lady Lions up by two runs (4-2). Beaver put up three more runs to end its turn (7-2), including the seventh coming after Jackson scored a run with an RBI double off of Cable. While both teams had a quiet third inning, Beaver's batters were on fire in the top for the fourth. Freshman Tyler Johnson (San Antonio/East Central) scored the first run of the inning after she stole home plate (8-2). The Lady Lions went on to put up 11 more runs—including Tyler Johnson, freshman Onika Miles (Lake Stevens/Lake Stevens) and senior Carley Schroeder (Freedom) scoring a run on a two-out RBI double off of Jackson—with six Beaver batters contributing a total of nine hits in the final inning. Jackson then sealed the win with two strikeouts in the bottom of the final inning to help Beaver claim a 19-2 victory in game one.
Cepull led the offense in game one, where she went 4 for 4 at bat and earned 5 RBIs followed by PSUAC Pitcher of the Week senior Vanessa Jackson (Snohomish), who was 3 for 4 at bat and earned 4 RBIs in the game. Junior Lacey Weible (Hookstown/South Side) and freshman Onika Miles (Lake Stevens/Lake Stevens) had notable performances at bat, where they each went 2 for 2.
On the mound for Beaver during game one was Jackson (W, 6-1), where she pitched a complete game and scored her sixth win of the season. Jackson only allowed four hits and struck out five of the 15 batters she faced.
The outcome wasn't as fortunate for Beaver in game two, after Mont Alto came out with a 4-2.
In the top of first, junior Jessica Hughes (Hopewell)'s RBI groundout to third base allowed Tyler Johnson to land Beaver on the board first (1-0). The game went scoreless for the next two and a half innings until Mont Alto made two runs against the Lady Lions to take away the lead (2-1). Then in the top of the fifth, Taylor Johnson hit to right center, to double-in RBI sophomore Natalie Larkin (Center Twp./Central Valley) to tie the score at 2-2. However, Beaver couldn't take back the lead after the next two batters grounded out. Despite a great effort by Beaver's defense in the bottom of the sixth including Jackson, who stepped in to pitch after Mont Alto's first two batters both singled and struck out a batter, the Lady Lions allowed two runs by the rivals and fell 4-2 in game two.
Taylor Johnson led the offense in game two, where she went 2 for 3 at bat while earning 1 RBI.
Sophomore Natalie Larkin (Center Twp./Central Valley) took the loss in game two (W, 1-1) after she gave up the lead in the bottom of the third. Larkin pitched for 5.0 innings and allowed seven hits and struck out four of the 21 batters she faced. Jackson relieved Larkin in the sixth and faced the final five batters.
After today's doubleheader against Mont Alto, Beaver is now 11-5 overall for the season and place third in the PSUAC-Western (3-1) standings.
The Lady Lions will be back at home to face Saint Vincent College on Tuesday, Mar. 26. Game one is at 3 p.m. followed by game two at 5 p.m.