Phoenixville, Pa. - Since returning to Pennsylvania, the Lady Lions have been on a tear, continuing their outstanding pitching as the offense begins to fire on all cylinders. Thursday evening was no different when the Lady Lions traveled to the University of Valley Forge, limiting the opposition to just one run in the double-header while tallying 27 scores to earn the two game sweep. Sophomore Kayla Rhome (Marysville, Pa.) followed up her no-hitter with a one hit shutout in game one for her fourth win of 2016 as Hazleton took game one by a score of 12-0. In game two, freshman Samantha Varela (Hazleton, Pa.) was equally impressive, holding Valley Forge to just three hits while her teammates racked up 14 hits to take game two by a score of 15-1.
Game 1: Penn State Hazleton 12, University of Valley Forge 0 (Final 5 Innings)
Seven Lady Lions collected hits in the game offering up Rhome plenty of support in the circle. Sophomore Vanessa Michael (Bloomsburg, Pa.) continued to stay hot at the plate, driving in three runs in the first three innings to boost the Lions ahead of Valley Forge in the early stages of play. Hazleton would score in four of the five innings played while Rhome mowed down opposing hitters to notch her third straight shut-out.
A hit batsman and two Patriot errors plate the first Hazleton score and with one out in the frame, Michael singles to drive in a run and put Hazleton up 2-0.
A pair of hits to lead off the inning leave runners at second and third for Michael who cashes in both runners with her second hit of the game. With two outs, freshman Kayla Wirth (Bethlehem, Pa.) doubles to drive in two runs, but is thrown out in a run down to end the inning.
Sophomore Sara Stauffer (Mifflinburg, Pa.) blasts her first home run of the season with one runner aboard to extend the Hazleton advantage. The Lady Lions load the bases with two outs and sophomore Kaitly Kaluzny (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.) singles to add a third run in the inning, bringing the score to 9-0 in favor of Hazleton.
The Lady Lions add three runs in the fifth on three hits to cap the scoring. Junior Tina Beiland (Philadelphia, Pa.) plates a run on a double steal and two additional runs come to the plate on a fielding error by the Patriot outfield.
Rhome limits the Patriots to just one hit while striking out nine batters for her fourth win of the season.
Michael ends the game a perfect 4-4 at the plate with three RBI and one run scored. Stauffer finished 2-3 with the two run home run and four runs scored while freshman Moriah Lynn (Berwick, Pa.) went 2-3, coming around to score four times.
Game 2: Penn State Hazleton 15, University of Valley Forge 1 (Final 5 Innings)
A cluster of runs in the middle innings gave Hazleton control of game two while Sam Varela worked from the circle. 10 Lady Lions supplied 14 hits in the game including nine hits in the second and third frames as Hazleton exploded for 13 early runs to put the game out of reach. Varela allowed just three hits to Patriot batters and cruised to victory by a score of 15-1 for her second win this season.
Hazleton scores without a hit in the first frame as freshman Hailey Trasacco (Hamden, Ct.) worked a walk with the bases loaded to bring in Lynn from third base.
The first six Lady Lion hitters reach base safely and Hazleton adds four runs before making their first out. Freshman Noelle Bergerstock (Muncy, Pa.) scores on a Patriot error, then Stuaffer scores two on her second extra base hit of the day. Michael brings in Stuaffer on a single before being thrown out at the plate for Hazleton's first out of the inning. Two more Hazleton runs would score on a wild pitch and a passed ball, with senior Brandi Grunza (Carbondale, Pa.) adding an RBI double to put the Lions up 8-0 through two innings.
Beiland and Stuaffer lead off with back to back doubles, followed by an RBI single from freshman Shelby Jolliff (Dunkirk, Oh.), starting a five run third inning for Hazleton. An RBI groundout from Brandi Grunza and RBI single from Bergerstock plate two more Lady Lion runs before junior Leanne Lagowski (Wrightsville, Pa.) is hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to end the scoring, leaving Hazleton up 13-0.
With two out and runners at the corners, Trassaco and sophomore Britani Esser (Willingboro, Nj.) collect consecutive RBI singles to extend the Hazleton advantage to 15-0.
Varela hits the leadoff hitter who advances to third on a pair of ground ball outs. Adriana Benabel puts Valley Forge on the board with an RBI single before Varela induces the final out on a ground ball to second base, ending the game at 15-1 in favor of the Lady Lions.
Stauffer led Hazleton with two hits in two at bats. The sophomore drove in three runs in game two and scored twice. Bergerstock notched a pair of hits, two RBI and one run scored while teammate Britani Esser added a 2-5 performance with two runs scored and one RBI.
Varela earns her second win of 2016, finishing the contest with one run allowed on three hits while striking out three batters.
Hazleton has nine days off before returning to the field next Saturday. The Lions will take on SUNY Delhi in a double-header on April 2. Games will begin at the Drifton Sports Complex at 2:00 p.m.