Monaca, PA. – The Penn State Greater Allegheny Softball Team (16-10, 14-6) fought hard in the first round of the Penn State University Athletic Conference Playoffs on Friday night, but in the end, they fell to PSU-Beaver 6-1 ending their 2018 season. PSUGA collected only five hits in the game while committing four errors on their way to the loss.
After both teams traded scoreless half innings in the first, PSUGA would get the upper hand early as Hailey Snyder (Connelsville, PA./Connelsville) lifted her second home run of the season over the left field wall to give her team a 1-0 lead. Snider has been on fire over her last two games driving in a combined six runs between the two contests.
However, PSU-Beaver responded in the bottom half of the second getting a run on the first of four errors in the game by PSUGA when Brittany Garza reached base allowing Brenna Cepull to score and tying the game at one. PSUGA starting pitcher Lacie Lautner (Pleasant Hills, PA./Thomas Jefferson) was able to strand Garza on base and keep the game tied as the game moved to the third.
It would be in the bottom of the fourth when Beaver took control of the game putting up five runs and jumping out to a 6-1 lead. Garza would drive in her second run of the game getting hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and it would be followed by two singles and a sac fly to bring in the final four runs of the inning.
PSUGA would be held off the board for the rest of the game and were never able to mount the comeback necessary for the victory. Lautner pitched the complete seven innings giving up six runs, four earned, on four hits while walking one and striking out three batters. It was Lautner’s first loss since April 14th in a game that was also against PSU-Beaver.
Snider was the offensive leader for PSUGA going 2-2 at the plate with the home run and one RBI in the contest. The other three hits in the game came courtesy of Alyssa Guzzie (Fox Chapel, PA./Fox Chapel), Ivy Mervis (Pittsburgh, PA./Allderdice HS), and Tara Love (Chandler, AZ./Campo Verde HS) who all went 1-3 at the plate.
Even though the playoff run has come to an end, the 2018 season was a historic year for the PSUGA softball team. They broke the franchise record for wins in a season and conference wins in a season as well as making the playoffs for only the second time in the last 17 seasons. With many of their everyday players coming back next season, the PSUGA softball program is primed for success for many years to come.