ERIE, Pa. – Penn State Altoona softball played three games on Saturday in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Tournament at Penn State Behrend, and the Lady Lions were ultimately eliminated from the tournament.
In the day's opening game, fifth-seeded Penn State Altoona (22-17-1) was edged 1-0 by top seed Penn State Behrend. The Lady Lions bounced back for a 6-5 victory over sixth seed Hilbert College to stay alive, but Penn State Altoona was knocked out of the tournament when it suffered an 8-0 loss to number two seed Medaille College.
"I thought we made a good run," said Penn State Altoona head coach Joe Merilli. "But we just ran out of gas on a very long day."
In game one, Penn State Altoona got a good start in the circle, but the Lady Lions were unable to get the bats going, as they were limited to just three hits as a team.
Emily Strouse (Beech Creek, PA/Central Mountain) pitched a complete game, going six innings and giving up just four hits, one run and one walk while striking out one batter.
The game's only run was scored in the bottom of the first inning, when Carson Hauser led off with a triple to center and scored on Katie Gozzard's sacrifice bunt to give Penn State Behrend a 1-0 lead.
In game two, the Lady Lions rallied to beat Hilbert and preserve their life in the tournament.
Abby Showers (Philipsburg, PA/Philipsburg-Osceola) went 3-for-3 for Penn State Altoona with an RBI, a run scored, a walk, and three stolen bases. Giedroc also had a three-hit game, going 3-for-4 with a home run, two RBI, and two runs scored.
Meghan Marasti (Harrison City, PA/Penn Trafford) finished 2-for-4 with a double, two runs scored, one RBI, and one stolen base. Olivia Miller (West Newton, PA/Yough) went 2-for-4 with a run scored, and Strouse batted 2-for-4 with two RBI.
Sidney Shultz (Runville, PA/Bald Eagle) got the win in the circle, pitching 2 1/3 innings for her sixth victory of the season. Strouse picked up her first collegiate save, tossing 4 2/3 innings and allowing one run.
Hilbert grabbed a lead in the top of the third inning on Jenna Castricone's RBI single down the left field line, but Penn State Altoona answered in the bottom of the third on Marasti's RBI double to left and Giedroc's two-run homer to left.
The Lady Hawks used a three-run top of the fourth to grab a lead. Morgan Grosch's RBI single got the scoring started in the frame, and Nateal Papasergi's RBI single down the right field line tied the score. Hannah Prenoveau's run-scoring groundout put Hilbert ahead 4-3.
But Penn State Altoona plated three runs in the bottom of the fifth to take the lead for good. Strouse's two-run single to right-center and Showers' RBI single up the middle gave the Lady Lions a 6-4 advantage.
Prenoveau's RBI single through the left side in the top of the sixth cut the Penn State Altoona lead to 6-5, but the Lady Lions hung on to win by one run.
But Penn State Altoona was ousted from the AMCC Tournament when it lost 8-0 to Medaille in five innings in the Lady Lions' final game of the day.
Penn State Altoona was limited to just one hit, coming from Giedroc.
In the circle, Shultz took the loss after pitching 3 1/3 innings. Faith Barnett (Todd, PA/Tussey Mountain) pitched 1 1/3 innings in relief.
Medaille made it 3-0 in the bottom of the first on Lauren Kocher's RBI single up the middle and Laura Kratzke's two-run double to left center. The Lady Mavericks extended their lead to 4-0 in the third on Mikayla Schlehr's RBI single to right-center.
In the fourth, Morgan Bedford's single to right-center brought in two runs for Medaille. The Lady Mavericks tacked on two more in the fifth on Samantha Klein's sacrifice fly and Shannon Trigilio's RBI single to left.
With the team's elimination from the AMCC Tournament, Penn State Altoona softball will now await word on a potential berth into the Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III Championship Tournament.