Lamont Furnace, PA. – The Penn State Greater Allegheny Softball Team (9-4, 7-1) split their Penn State University Athletic Conference Doubleheader with Penn State Fayette (0-0, 0-0) on Thursday winning the first game 7-3 before falling in game two 9-0. The split moves the girls to 7-1 in PSUAC play and gives them a one game lead over Fayette as the race comes down to the wire.
Game one saw the girl’s bats come to life in a come from behind win where they showed a lot of resilience at the plate. PSU-Fayette jumped out to an early 2-0 lead with runs scored in the 2nd and 3rd innings, however, PSUGA responded with a run of their own in the top of the fourth courtesy of an RBI double by Lacie Lautner (Pleasant Hills, PA./Thomas Jefferson) that cut the deficit to 2-1.
PSUGA would continue to battle back in the top of the fifth after a Morgan Greely (Roulette, PA./Port Allegheny High School) single put the leadoff man on. Tara Love (Chandler, AZ./Campo Verde HS) would then reach on an error that allowed Greely to come all the way around to score and tie the game at two. Maddie Kyle (Carnegie, PA./Carlynton) gave PSUGA the lead for good lining an RBI single into right and brought home Love to give PSUGA the 3-2 lead.
Ivy Mervis (Pittsburgh, PA./Allderdice) drove in the final run of the inning on an RBI single that scored Alyssa Guzzie (Fox Chapel, PA./Fox Chapel) and gave PSUGA a 4-2 lead. Love would drive in another run in the top of the 6th on an RBI single to move the score to 5-3, and Lautner finished the scoring lining a ball to left-center field that couldn’t be handled allowing two more runs to score and pushing the PSUGA lead to 7-3.
Lautner took it from there finishing her dominant performance on the mound by retiring the final six batters she faced striking out three of them. She finished the day throwing seven innings and giving up just three runs on three hits while striking out a season high 13 batters on the day. The win moved Lautner to a perfect (7-0) on the season and pushed PSUGA to that same perfect record in conference play. Mervis finished the day 2-4 with 2 RBI while Lautner went 2-4 with 3 RBI.
The second game saw PSU-Fayette run away with the ball game and pick up a 9-0 victory. After neither team could get anything going through the first three innings, it would be Fayette that broke out for four runs in the bottom of the third, two coming on an RBI double by Chanel Porter. They would add a run in the bottom of the 4th before finishing with four more in the bottom of the fifth to enforce the eight-run rule and finish the game.
PSUGA had just two base runners in the game as Rachel Able (Pataskla, OH./Watkins Memorial High) and Hailey Snyder (Connelsville, PA./Connelsville) each reached on walks. The team was held to no hits for the first time this season. Love got the start and went 4.2 innings giving up nine runs on 10 hits while walking two and striking out five.
Despite the loss in game two, PSUGA still finds themselves in first place in the PSUAC West sitting at 7-1 in conference play. They have some tough competition ahead over the weekend, but are excited for the opportunity to show how good they can really be and compete for a PSUAC Playoff spot.
PSUGA is right back in action as they take on Penn State Beaver with doubleheaders on Friday and Saturday. Friday they go on the road to face Beaver in doubleheader action starting at 2 p.m. before they come back home on Saturday for another doubleheader scheduled to start at 2 p.m.