Lemont Furnace, Pa. - The no. 4 ranked Lady Lions capped their western road trip with two wins at Penn State Fayette on Sunday. Hazleton overpowered the Roaring Lions to win their third and fourth games in a row, boosting their Penn State University Athletic Conference record to 7-1 and moving into a tie for the top spot in the PSUAC. For the second day in a row, the Lady Lion offense scored several big innings to earn the series sweep against their opponent.
Game 1: Penn State Hazleton 20, Penn State Fayette 1 (Final, 6 Innings)
Hazleton opened up a five run lead by the end of the second frame with only one run coming via a base hit. Hazleton knocked in two runs on sacrifice flies, and scored twice on a fielding error to gain the early edge. Sophomore Vanessa Michael (Bloomsburg, Pa.) continued to punish opposing pitching, driving in two runners with an RBI single in the fourth inning, followed by fielder's choice RBI by freshman Samantha Varela (Hazleton, Pa.) to boost the lead to 8-0 heading to the fifth.
A solo home run by the Roaring Lions extended the ballgame and Hazleton responded with a 12 run sixth inning at-bat. The Lions collected eight hits in the final frame including a two RBI double from Varela, and a two RBI triple from sophomore Kayla Rhome (Marysville, Pa.), pulling away the game by the eventual final score of 20-1.
Kayla Rhome notched her 10th win throwing three shutout innings of one-hit ball. The sophomore struck out five batters before turning the reins over to sophomore Britani Esser (Willingboro, Nj.) to finish the job.
Vanessa Michael finished the game going 3-4 at the plate with four RBI, the sixth time the sophomore has topped three or more RBI in one game. Varela also drove in four runners, finishing 1-4 with a double while teammate Kayla Rhome went 2-3 with triple, two walks and two RBI.
Game 2: Penn State Hazleton 20, Penn State Fayette 4 (Final, 3 Innings)
The Lady Lions put game two out of reach early, registering their second straight 12 run inning going back to game one. Seven hits and seven free passes (2 hit by pitch) including a two RBI single from Britani Esser, a three RBI triple from freshman Moriah Lynn (Berwick, Pa.) and a two run home run from sophomore Sara Stauffer (Mifflinburg, Pa.) led to the crooked inning and control of the contest. The Lions followed up with seven scores in their second at-bat to further their cause and inflict the 15 run rule after three innings. Hazleton would add a run in the third frame on a bases loaded hit by pitch, leading to the final score of 20-4 after allowing four runs on two errors to Penn State Fayette in their final at bat.
Three Lady Lions tallied season high outputs at the plate in game two. Moriah Lynn went a perfect 4-4 in the game with a triple, three singles and five RBI out of the the lead off spot. Joining the third baseman with five RBI was Britani Esser who ended the game 2-2 at the plate, while freshman Shelby Jolliff (Dunkirk, Oh.) finished 2-3 with two RBI.
In addition to her stellar day at the plate, Lynn picked up her first win from the circle in a Lady Lion uniform. The freshman allowed four runs (0 earned runs) in three innings on three hits while striking out three batters.
Hazleton returns home for two days before heading back on the road to face the third ranked PSUAC team in the form of Penn State Mont Alto on Wednesday, April 20 at 2:00 p.m. for a weekday double-header.