LATROBE, Pa. – Penn State Altoona softball got back on track Monday afternoon, when it posted 4-2 and 10-2 wins in a doubleheader with non-conference opponent Saint Vincent College.
Penn State Altoona (10-10) used timely hitting, solid pitching, and errorless defense to earn the doubleheader sweep of St. Vincent (18-8).
"Probably the best doubleheader we have played yet this year," said Penn State Altoona head coach Joe Merilli. "We put it all together – pitching, hitting, and defense – against a really good team. I hope we can bottle up this formula for the rest of the season. We have a lot of season left, and I hope we start peaking now."
Game One: Penn State Altoona 4, St. Vincent 2
Effective pitching and error-free defense led the Lady Lions to a two-run victory over St. Vincent in game one of the two-game set.
Sidney Lewis (Smithmill, PA/Moshannon Valley) pitched a complete game for Penn State Altoona, grabbing the win to improve her season record to 4-2. In seven innings, she scattered eight hits, walked two, and yielded two runs while recording three strikeouts.
Brittney Dellaquila (Pottstown, PA/Owen J. Roberts) was 1-for-3, hitting her first collegiate home run. Abby Showers (Philipsburg, PA/Philipsburg-Osceola) and Meghan Marasti (Pittsburgh, PA/Penn-Trafford) were each 1-for-3 with a run scored, and Haley Giedroc (Howard, PA/Bald Eagle) was 1-for-3 with one run scored and one run batted in.
Lewis and Olivia Miller (West Newton, PA/Yough) also finished with one RBI each.
St. Vincent scored the game's first runs in the bottom of the second, when Kaylee Ludwick's two-out, two-run double to center put the Lady Bearcats on top 2-0.
But Penn State Altoona scored four unanswered runs to win. The Lady Lions got on the board in the top of the fifth on Dellaquila's solo home run to center. In the sixth, Giedroc's RBI base hit to center tied the game, and back-to-back RBI groundouts from Lewis and Miller put Penn State Altoona ahead 4-2.
Game Two: Penn State Altoona 10, St. Vincent 2 (Final/5 innings)
Penn State Altoona's bats heated up in game two, producing 10 runs on 10 hits to win in a run-rule-shortened game. The Lady Lions again got a complete game effort in the circle to go along with spotless defense in the field.
Giedroc went 3-for-3 with her second home run of the season, finishing with three RBI, two runs scored, and one stolen base. Miller went 2-for-3 with her second homer of the year, along with a double, two RBI, and a run scored. Jessica Willits (Jersey Shore, PA/Jersey Shore) was 1-for-2 with a double, two RBI, a run scored, and a walk.
Sarah Gearhart (McVeytown, PA/Mount Union) improved to 3-5 on the season, pitching all five innings and limiting St. Vincent to two runs on six hits and two walks while striking out one batter.
The Lady Lions used the long ball to open up a big lead in the top of the first inning. After Showers and Marasti started the game with singles, Giedroc made it 3-0 with one swing of the bat, homering to right field. After Lewis drew a walk in the next at-bat, Miller increased Penn State Altoona's lead to 5-0 when she hit a home run to left.
St. Vincent got two runs back in the bottom half of the first inning, when Alona Sleith's two-run double down the left field line cut the Lady Lions' advantage to 5-2.
But Penn State Altoona built another five-run inning, this time getting five runs across in the top of the fifth. Marasti scored on an error for the inning's first run, and Giedroc came one on Dellaquila's sacrifice bunt. Willits added a two RBI double to right-center, and Gearhart helped her own cause with a run-scoring base hit to left.
Penn State Altoona held St. Vincent scoreless in the bottom of the fifth to bring the eight-run rule into effect, winning in five innings.
Penn State Altoona softball returns to Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference action on Wednesday, April 10, when the Lady Lions will travel to Steubenville, Ohio to face Franciscan University in a doubleheader starting at 3:00 p.m.