New Kensington, PA. – The Penn State Greater Allegheny Softball Team (15-8, 13-5) clinched a spot in the Penn State University Athletic Conference Playoff spot with a four-game series sweep over PSU-New Kensington over the weekend. It is only the second time in the last 17 years that PSUGA has made the playoffs and now they have a chance to make a run for the number one seed.
The series started on Friday with PSUGA taking the first two game by convincing scores of 10-6 and 12-1. The offense continued their recent success in the series providing plenty of run support for their starting pitchers. Game one saw Lacie Lautner (Pleasant Hills, PA./Thomas Jefferson) help herself out going 3-4 with a season high five RBI while Ivy Mervis (Pittsburgh, PA./Allderdice) went 2-4 with 4 RBI in the win.
In game two of the series, six of the nine position players came through with RBI and eight of the nine picked up at least one hit in the ball game. After the two teams were scoreless through the first two innings of play, PSUGA scored six runs in the top of the third and four runs in the top of the fifth to seal the victory. By taking the first two games of the series, PSUGA punched their ticket to the PSUAC Playoffs and looked to continue to win as they played for a higher seed and a possible first round bye.
Games three and four of the series saw the pitchers lock down New Kensington’s offense in two dominant performances. Tara Love (Chandler, AZ./Campo Verde HS) pitched a four-hitter giving up just one earned run in her team’s 8-1 victory in game one of the doubleheader. Her offense got her the lead early putting up five runs in the first two innings. Rachel Able (Pataskla, OH./Watkins Memorial High) led the offense going 2-2 with three RBI.
Lautner was back on the hill in game four of the series and finished the series off with a four-hit shut-out over five innings of work. PSUGA scored at least one run in every inning of the second game of the doubleheader to pick up the win and the series sweep of PSU-New Kensington in 2018.
After already clinching a playoff spot, PSUGA made more history on Saturday when they broke the franchise record for conference wins in a season moving to 13-5. Their previous record was 12 set back in the 2013 season, which was also the last time the PSUGA softball team made the PSUAC Playoff Tournament. They also broke the record for wins in a season moving to 15-8 breaking the previous mark of 14 back in 2013.
PSUGA Softball finishes out their regular season when they take on PSU-Fayette on Sunday in doubleheader action starting at 1 p.m. It will be senior recognition day as Softball honors their 2+2 players as they move on to continue their educational careers. The doubleheader will be played at Woodland Hills High School.