Drifton, Pa. - Freshman Samantha Varela (Hazleton, Pa.) put three balls out of the park for a monster day at the plate against United States Collegiate Athletic Association opponent SUNY Delhi. The freshman collected six RBI with a pair of home runs in game one, driving Hazleton to a 13-0 victory. While Varela was busy ruining perfectly good softballs, sophomore Kayla Rhome (Marysville, Pa.) mowed through Broncos batters for her second career no-hitter, notching 10 strikeouts in the process.
Fortunatley for the Lady Lions, Varela's bat never cooled off during the intermission. The freshman came to bat in the first inning of game two with the bases loaded and delivered a grand slam, tallying all four of Hazleton's scores in the second game. Those runs would be all sophomore Sara Stauffer (Mifflinburg, Pa.) would need, as the hurler matched Rhome with 10 strikeouts from the circle, carrying the Lady Lions to the 4-2 victory in the nightcap over the Broncos.
Game 1: Penn State Hazleton 13, SUNY Delhi 0 (Final, 5 Innings)
Freshman Moriah Lynn (Berwick, Pa.) singles and works her way out of a rundown to score Hazleton's first run of the game. With runners on first and second, sophomore Vanessa Michael (Bloomsburg, Pa.) drives a ball to centerfield, scoring Stauffer from second base. With two on and no outs, Varela swats a home run over the centerfield fence to put the Lions up 5-0.
Once again Michael comes to bat with a runner in scoring position and delivers Stauffer from second base with a single to centerfield. With Michael aboard, Varela smashes her second long ball of the afternoon, a two run home run vaulting Hazleton to an 8-0 advantage.
A pair of singles from Rhome and junior Leanne Lagowski (Wrightsville, Pa.) to start the inning spelled more trouble for Bronco pitching. The Lady Lion lineup turns over to Moriah Lynn who launches a three run home, her second blast of the season. Sara Stauffer follows Lynn with a her third single of the game and finds her way to scoring position. With two outs, Varela notches her sixth RBI of the afternoon, this time a single to right field, putting the Lions up 12-0.
A pair of singles and a walk load the bases for Hazleton, bringing Lynn to the plate. Lynn cashes in the Lions final run with a single to left field, bringing the score to 13-0.
Kayla Rhome retired five straight Bronco hitters via the strikeout between the first two innings. More impressive, the sophomore ace accounted for 14 of 15 outs either by strikeout or assisting on the put out. Rhome's only blemish was a fielding error in the fifth inning, costing her a perfect game, but a double play to end the contest allowed Rhome to complete the no-hitter while facing the minimum required batters.
Varela's finished game one with a season high six RBI going 3-3 with two home runs.
Equally impressive was Moriah Lynn's day at the dish. The freshman went 3-4 with a home run and four RBI.
Game 2: Penn State Hazleton 4, SUNY Delhi 2
Lynn leads off the frame with a single and advances to third base on a Stauffer double. After a walk to Michael, Varela found herself in another position to inflict damage and once again she came through. The freshman smoked a line drive to center, cashing in four runs on her first career grand slam.
Stauffer finds herself in a pinch after two free passes to lead off the inning. With no outs, a throwing error brings in the first Bronco run, but Stauffer bears down to limit the damage and maintain 4-1 Hazleton advantage.
A swinging bunt single spells trouble for Hazleton, bringing in the second Bronco score on an errant throw. With the tying run at the plate, Stuaffer induces an infield pop up and strikes out the final batter to end the game.
Stauffer allowed just three hits in seven innings pitched to earn her third win of the season. The sophomore gave up just two unearned runs while striking out 10 in the complete game victory.
Varela caps off her fine game one with another great performance at the plate in the second match. The freshman finished 2-3 with four RBI via the grand slam giving her 10 RBI on the afternoon.
The Lady Lions' two wins on Saturday increase their winning streak to nine games. Hazleton will look to keep that momentum going when they face Delaware Valley University on Tuesday, April 5th on the Aggies home turf. Hazleton split with Delaware Valley when they squared off in Titusville, Florida earlier this season.