Boalsburg, PA - The Lady Lions continued play this afternoon in the Penn State University Athletic Conference softball tournament on Thursday afternoon. Hazleton was poised for a clean run to the championship round when their hopes were momentarily derailed by an late inning offensive outpour by PSU Brandywine. Hazleton held a 2-0 lead for five and one half innings, when the Brandywine offense woke up score four runs in the 6th. The Lady Lions responded with five runs of their own in the top half of the seventh inning, but failed to find outs in the bottom end, allowing four more Brandywine runs including a walk off three run home run to end the game 8-7 in favor of Brandywine. Having lost the semi-final match up, the Lady Lions seized their final opportunity to reach the finals, by defeating PSU Mont Alto in a championship play-in game by a score of 10-1 in five innings.
Round 3: Penn State Brandywine 8, Penn State Hazleton 7
Top 2: With two outs in the inning, Hazleton works three straight walks off of Brandywine pitching to load the bases. Leanne Lagowski fought off several tough pitches before ripping a single through the middle of the field to score Kayla Rhome and Britani Esser.
Bottom 6: After five scoreless innings, the Brandywine offense gains confidence against Rhome's pitching. Brandywine scatters five singles in the inning, including a go-ahead RBI hit from Alexa Iacono, and an insurance run plated by a single from Lindsey Dellavecchio to put the number one seed up 4-2.
Top 7: The Lady Lions respond after a tough inning on defense with an amazing two out rally to retake the lead. Singles from Sara Stauffer and Andrea Quillman put the tying runs on base. Stauffer scores on a wild pitch, and in the same at bat, Erin Dougherty delivered and RBI single to knot the score at 4-4. RBI doubles from Rhome and Esser following to put Hazleton on top, and Brandi Grunza caps a five run inning with an RBI single to give Hazleton a 7-4 advantage, needing just three outs to seal the victory.
Bottom 7: Robyn Gannon single to lead off the inning followed by a double from Katy Steffen to lead off the inning. Danielle Spina produces a double of her own to cut the Lions lead to two. With two one, Cheyenne Murphy steps into the batters box and delivers a three run walk off home run to end the game 8-7.
Behind the Box Score:
- Cheyenne Murphy cracks her first home run of the season to deliver Hazleton it's first loss of the double elimination tournament.
- Kayla Rhome pitches six and a third innings, allowing no runs through five innings, but earns the loss in the final two, as Brandywine posts eight runs in their final two at bats. Rhome strikes out six batters in the losing effort.
- Hazleton's four through nine hitters combine for 9-18 at the plate with six RBI and six runs scored.
Round 4: Penn State Hazleton 10, Penn State Mont Alto 1 (Final, 5 Innings)
Bottom 1: Stauffer scores on a missed fly ball in the Mont Alto outfield to put Hazleton up 1-0.
Top 2: Chapin Guiliante singles to lead off the inning. Cassidy Feaser singles with one out to tie the ballgame at one apiece.
Bottom 3: After a walk to Kaitlyn Kaluzny, Quillman doubles to reclaim the lead for Hazleton. Brianna Grunza picks up Quillman with a single to extend the lead to 3-1.
Bottom 4: Hazleton puts the game away with seven fourth inning runs on six hits. Kaluzny doubles to score two runs, followed by a Quillman RBI triple and RBI single from Dougherty. Esser caps the inning with a bases clearing three RBI single.
Behind the Box Score:
- Kaluzny, Quillman, Brianna Grunza, and Esser all collect multi-hit games in the victory.
- Stauffer pitches five innings of one run ball, allowing five hits while striking out 6.
Next Up: The Lady Lions advance to the Championship round for a rematch with PSU Brandywine. After today's fireworks, the Lady Lions are eager to exact revenge from their late inning loss as they square off on Friday at noon in Beard Field at University Park. Hazleton will need two wins to claim the coveted PSUAC title.