Langhorne, Pa. - The Lady Lions scored early and often in both contests Friday afternoon when they visited NCAA - 3 opponent Cairn University, earning a two game sweep in their first action following their spring trip to the sunshine state. Hazleton pitching allowed just two Highlander runs on the day while pushing across 36 runs in the double-header.
Game 1: Penn State Hazleton 26, Cairn University 0, Final 5 Innings
The Lady Lions shut the door in their first at bat, opening up a 19 run advantage in the first inning on 10 hits including a grand slam by freshman Vanessa Michael (Bloomsburg, Pa.), her fourth long-ball of the season. Highlander pitching and defense struggled in their season opener, allowing 15 free passes to Lady Lion hitters and seven defensive miscues, contributing to the lopsided affair. Hazleton would scatter seven more runs in the final four innings before the game was called and sophomore Kayla Rhome (Marysville, Pa.) picked up her second victory of the season for the Lady Lions.
A single and three walks started the inning and gave Hazleton its first run of the outing and the start of a huge Hazleton offensive frame. The Lions would tack on five singles to increase the lead to seven before Michael came to the plate in her second at bat, this time with the bases loaded. The freshman launched the home run to clear the bases and put Hazleton up 11-0 with just one out in the inning. The Lady Lions would go on to add four more singles and six free passes before the final out was tallied, putting the game well out of reach at 19-0 before taking the field. Michael would earn seven RBI in three trips to the plate with a walk and a home run, then drove in three lions while reaching base on an error.
A double by senior Brandi Grunza (Carbondale, Pa.) with one out put Hazleton back in scoring position and the senior came around to score on a Highlander miscue on a ball put into play by freshman Moriah Lynn (Berwick, Pa.). A pair of walks loaded the bases once again before freshman Noelle Bergerstock (Muncy, Pa.) worked a free pass to earn the RBI. With two outs and the bases loaded, freshman Hailey Trasacco (Hamden, Ct.) hit a fly ball to right field that was misplayed, scoring a third Lady Lions run and increasing the lead to 22-0.
A pair of singles and a walk to junior Tina Beiland (Philadelphia, Pa.) loaded the bases for third consecutive inning, followed by an RBI single by sophomore Sara Stauffer (Mifflinburg, Pa.). Freshman Shelby Joliff (Dunkirk, Oh.) followed Stauffer with a bases loaded walk to put Hazleton on top 24-0.
A pair of Highlander errors and a walk loads the bases for Hazleton and Bergerstock picks up her second RBI with another bases loaded free pass. With two outs in the frame, Trasacco singles up the middle to plate the final Hazleton run with the score 26-0
Kayla Rhome worked three innings from the circle for her second win, allowing just two hits and striking out six before being relieved by sophomore Britani Esser (Willingboro, Nj.).
Michael's monster first inning earned her all seven of her RBI in the game including her first career grand slam. The freshman finished the game 1-2 with a pair of walks and three runs scored.
12 Lady Lions collected RBI's in the first game including two hit, two RBI performances from Lynn, Stauffer, freshman Kayla Wirth (Bethlehem, Pa.) and Brandi Grunza.
Game 2: Penn State Hazleton 10, Cairn University 2, Final 5 Innings
Sophomore Teddi White (Parsippany, Nj.) went perfect at the dish, driving in three Hazleton runs as the Lady Lions pulled away from the Highlanders. Freshman Samantha Varela (Hazleton, Pa.) pitched three innings to earn her first win of the season as her teammates provided an 8-0 cushion in the first two innings of play. Cairn answered with a pair of scores in the fourth frame before the Lady Lions responded with two insurance runs in the final inning to seal up the 10-2 victory.
Sara Stauffer led off the game with a double, then advanced to third base on a wild pitch. Kayla Wirth flew out to left field, scoring Stauffer on the sacrifice for the games opening run. After a pair of walks and a single, Britani Esser drove in White and Michael putting Hazleton on top 3-0.
The Lady Lions add five runs on six hits to expand their lead to 8-0. A Teddi White double with the bases loaded inflicts the initial damage, followed by an RBI single from Varela. Esser cashes in another runner on a fielder's choice and Hailey Trasacco caps the inning with an RBI infield single.
A single and walk to Cairn hitters leads to runners at second and third with two outs. Keely Congleton delivers a double to score the base runners and shrink Hazleton's lead to 8-2.
Hazleton responds with a double from Bergerstock who is then driven in by a Wirth single to left field. Two batters later, Teddi White adds her third RBI, scoring Wirth on a base hit to left for the game's final score and a 10-2 Lady Lion win.
Varela allows one run on one hit with five strikeouts, picking up the freshman's first victory in 2016. Moriah Lynn cleans up the final two innings, surrendering one run on two hits and two walks with a pair of K's in her first work of the season from the circle.
Teddi White led the Hazleton offense with her 4-4 performance. White drove in the three RBI with a double and two runs scored. Britani Esser drove in three runs as well, going 1-3 with a run scored while Kayla Wirth went 2-3 with two RBI and two runs scored.
With Sunday's game versus SUNY Canton postponed, the Lady Lions' next opponent lies in Summit University. First pitch of the double-header scheduled for Tuesday, March 22 at 2:00 p.m.