Cocoa Beach, FL - The bats came alive for the Lady Lions on Monday as they swept NCAA Division 3 opponent Franciscan University. The Lions defeated the Barons in game one by a score of 19-3 in 5 innings, and again in game two by a score of 14-5 in 5 innings.
Game 1: Penn State Hazleton 19, Franciscan University 3 (5 Innings)
The Lady Lions took advatage of command problems by the Barons to score 19 runs on just 11 hits. Hazleton was issued nine free passes including two hit batsmen in the first two innings to jump out to a commanding 6-0 lead and continued to capitolize on opportunities served up by Franciscan University. The Lions continued to tack on 13 runs in the final two innings ending the game pre-maturely in the 5th with a convincing 16 run advatage.
Brianna Grunza drove in three and scored four while batting .600 at the plate in the game 1 victory. Pitcher Sara Stauffer went 3 for 3 at the plate while tossing 5.0 solid innings of work, allowing just the 3 earned runs and recording 7 punchouts on the mound. Other notables for Hazleton included 3rd baseman Andi Quillman who drove in 3 going 1 for 2 at the plate, and Victoria Ryan who drove in 3 runs for Hazleton working 3 bases on balls.
Franciscan was led by catcher Hailey Wesselman who slammed a three-bagger for the Barons, driving in one and scoring a run in two trips to the plate.
Game 2: Penn State Hazleton 14, Franciscan University 5 (5 Innings)
Hazleton fell behind in the early stages of game 2 as pitcher Jordan Cunningham settled in to what looked like a promising start for the Barons. Franciscan pressured Hazleton's defense scoring 2 runs on 4 hits in the first inning and followed that up with a three run homerun by Hailey Wesselman in the 2nd. That was enough for Hazleton pitcher Britani Esser as she put the clamps on Barons hitters in the 3rd and watched her teammates respond with an 8-run rally in the bottom half, capped off by a two-run bomb by Sara Stauffer. Esser retired nine straight Barons to end the day as her teammates tacked on four insurance runs including a walk-off double Brandi Grunza to envoke the mercy rule in the 5th.
Sara Stuaffer continued her fine day at the plate going 3 for 4 with 3 RBI including the 2-run homerun in the 3rd. Kaitlyn Kaluzny contributed 2 RBI, 2 runs scored on 2 hits and Brandi Grunza also drove in 2 runners on 2 hits, while scoring twice herself.
Catcher, Hailey Wesselman touched up the Lions for 3 on her homerun to lead all players for the Barons. Maura Manning went 1 for 3 on the day with 1 RBI in the losing effort.
Up Next: Hazleton takes on St. Mary's of the Woods in single game action late this afternoon as spring ball continues in Cocoa Beach, FL.