Softball Wins AMCC Tournament Opener

Photo: Freshman Emily Strouse pitches during Friday's AMCC Tournament game between Penn State Altoona and D'Youville.
Photo: Freshman Emily Strouse pitches during Friday's AMCC Tournament game between Penn State Altoona and D'Youville.

ERIE, Pa. – In a game that included two weather delays and spanned five hours and nine minutes, the Penn State Altoona softball team came out on top, defeating D'Youville College 6-2 in the first game of the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Tournament at Penn State Behrend.

With the win, number five seed Penn State Altoona (21-15-1) will advance to play top-seeded Penn State Behrend tomorrow, Saturday, May 5 at 9:00 a.m. That game was originally slated to occur following game one on Friday, but inclement weather forced the postponement of the contest to the next morning.

The Lady Lions got another solid performance in the circle from Emily Strouse (Beech Creek, PA/Central Mountain). Pitching all seven innings, Strouse allowed just four hits, two earned runs, and no walks while striking out two batters to improve her season record to 13-3.

At the plate, Kelsey Bristol (Troy, PA/Troy) went 2-for-3 with a triple, two RBI, and a run scored. Abby Showers (Philipsburg, PA/Philipsburg-Osceola) was 2-for-4 with a double, two runs scored, and a stolen base.

"I thought we got a real good pitching effort by Emily Strouse, and we got back to playing solid defense," said Penn State Altoona head coach Joe Merilli. "Offensively, we got a few breaks and took advantage of them. Now, we need to step it up another notch and get a win tomorrow."

Penn State Altoona scored a run in the top half of the first and second innings. In the first, Showers led off the inning with a double to right and later scored on an error. In the second, Showers reached on a base hit up the middle, stole second, and scored on Bristol's RBI triple to right.

D'Youville (15-18) plated a run in the bottom of the second on Alexa Haberer's RBI groundout to shortstop.

But Penn State Altoona created some breathing room for itself in the fifth, getting three runs across. Haley Giedroc's (Howard, PA/Bald Eagle) RBI single to left got things started, and Giedroc and Meghan Marasti (Harrison City, PA/Penn-Trafford) both scored on an infield error later in the inning to make it 5-1. The Lady Lions used Bristol's RBI single to left in the sixth to increase their lead to 6-1.

D'Youville scored the game's final run in the bottom of the seventh on Lauren Gawlak's RBI single to right-center.