NAPLES, Fla. – Penn State Altoona softball wrapped up its week in the Fort Myers area Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic on Friday with a split, losing 9-1 to Drew University before bouncing back with a 4-2 victory over Albion College at North Collier Regional Park.
Penn State Altoona (7-5) posted a 7-3 record on the week and will now return to Pennsylvania to continue its 2019 season schedule.
"It was a very good trip for the softball team. We figured a lot out about ourselves, and by the end of the week, played very well," said Penn State Altoona head coach Joe Merilli. "Today, we were a bit shorthanded in the circle, and it showed in the first game, but we really got good efforts from Brittany and Ellie to get us a split. In the second game, we really showed the heart of this team by coming back late and scoring four runs in the sixth to get the win. I am really pleased with the progress we made and look forward to keeping it going when we start our games back home."
Game One: Drew 9, Penn State Altoona 1
Drew got out to an early lead and was able to maintain it throughout the game, en route to a run-rule win.
Haley Giedroc (Howard, PA/Bald Eagle) was 3-for-3 at the plate for Penn State Altoona, and Olivia Miller (West Newton, PA/Yough) was 2-for-2 with a double and a walk. Abby Showers (Philipsburg, PA/Philipsburg-Osceola) went 1-for-3 with one run batted in, and Cassidy Stover (Spring Mills, PA/Penns Valley) was 1-for-3 with a run scored.
Brittney Dellaquila (Pottstown, PA/Owen J. Roberts) started at pitcher for Penn State Altoona and took the loss, tossing three innings and yielding seven earned runs. Ellie Leyo (Irvona, PA/Glendale) pitched 2 2/3 innings in relief, allowing one run and striking out two.
Drew took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on Sophie Sirota's two-run double to left, and Adriana Rodriguez's groundout brought Sirota home to give the Rangers a three-run advantage.
The Lady Lions got a run back in the top of the second inning on Showers' RBI single to right-center, but Drew was able to offset it with Julia Sinatra's solo home run in the bottom half of the second.
Drew proceeded to plate four runs in the bottom of the third. Renata Primmer's base hit to right-center got two runs across, and Makayla Sosa's grounder advanced another run home. Primmer scored on a passed ball to make it 8-1.
Rodriguez's RBI single to left in the bottom of the sixth brought the eight-run rule into effect, ending the game in favor of Drew.
Game Two: Penn State Altoona 4, Albion 2
The Lady Lions rallied for four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to overcome Albion's 2-0 lead, salvaging a split on the day for Penn State Altoona.
Stover went 1-for-2 at the plate with one RBI, one run scored, and one walk. Abby Allenbaugh (Patton, PA/Cambria Heights) was 1-for-2 with two RBI, and Jayde Burge (Philipsburg, PA/Philipsburg-Osceola) batted 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored.
Leyo started the game in the circle and pitched 1 1/3 innings, allowing two runs in a no decision. Dellaquila entered in relief to pitch the final 5 2/3 innings, limiting Albion to no runs on just three hits and one walk while striking out five batters.
Albion got runs in the top of the first inning on Kacy Rossi's RBI single and Grace Connolly's sacrifice.
But Penn State Altoona came from behind, tying the game on RBI singles from Burge and Stover before Allenbaugh's two-run base hit made it 4-2.
With the Cusic Classic now behind them, the Lady Lions will return to Pennsylvania to continue their 2019 season schedule. Penn State Altoona's next games are scheduled for Saturday, March 16, when the team will travel to Latrobe, Pa. to take on non-conference opponent Saint Vincent College in a doubleheader beginning at 1:00 p.m.