Mont Alto, Pa. - The Lady Lions rallied on the road to grab a pair of victories at Penn State Mont Alto on Wednesday afternoon. Trailing 3-1 in in the sixth inning of game one, freshman Samantha Varela (Hazleton, Pa.) launched a solo home run and sophomore Kaitlyn Kaluzny (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.) drove in two runs to tie and go ahead of Mont Alto during an eight run frame that secured the win for the Lady Lions. Mont Alto rallied to tie Hazleton by the fifth inning in game two and force extra innings, but the Lady Lions put a six spot on the board in the eighth frame to prevail in second contest to earn the sweep and move to 9-1 in Penn State University Athletic Conference play.
Game 1: Penn State Hazleton 10, Penn State Mont Alto 3
Mont Alto seemed to have control of game one over the Lady Lions, tagging sophomore Kayla Rhome (Marysville, Pa.) for a two run home run in the first inning to take the early lead, then increased their advantage to three with an RBI double in the third frame. The Hazleton offense was shut down by Mont Alto pitching for four innings until a Kaluzny sacrifice fly got the Lions on the board in the fifth. The bats caught fire in the sixth inning starting with a solo shot by Sam Varela, her fifth blast of the season. Kaitlyn Kaluzny delivered the tying and go ahead runs sparking the big inning for Hazleton. The Lions dropped eight runs in the frame on five hits and three Mont Alto fielding miscues to pull ahead of the home team for good. Hazleton added an insurance run in the seventh to take the game 10-3.
Kayla Rhome allowed three runs in the first three innings, but settled in nicely in her final four trips to the circle, blanking Mont Alto from the fourth frame on. Rhome earned her 11th win of the year, a complete game victory, allowing eight hits and two walks, striking out four batters.
Varela finished the game 2-4 at the plate with the home run and two RBI. Kaluzny topped the Lions offense with three RBI on a 1-3 day at the plate while sophomore Sara Stauffer (Mifflinburg, Pa.) added a double and an RBI going 2-4 to round out the top Hazleton hitters.
Game 2: Penn State Hazleton 13, Penn State Mont Alto 7 (Final, 8 Innings)
Game two started with a four run barrage by the Hazleton bats giving their pitcher, Sam Varela a nice cushion to work with. Freshman Moriah Lynn (Berwick, Pa.) started the game with a single and Stauffer followed with two run blast, her 3rd long ball of the year. A pair of RBI singles gave Hazleton a four run lead before taking the field, and after blanking Mont Alto in the first, an RBI single from sophomore Britani Esser (Willingboro, Nj.) increased Hazleton's advantage to 5-0. Mont Alto responded with two RBI singles in the bottom half of the second, but quickly gave those runs back to the Lady Lions in the form of two scores on two errors in the third.
Facing a 7-2 deficit in the bottom of the third, Mont Alto kicked off the inning with three singles to load the bases. After two strikeouts, the home team rallies with an RBI single followed by a bases clearing double to pull within one of Hazleton. Mont Alto shut down the Lady Lion offense the next two at bats and then completed the comeback with an RBI double in the fifth inning. The Lady Lion bats remained silent but Varela held down the fort, shutting down the Mont Alto attack in the sixth and seventh frames leading to extra innings.
Hazleton had first cracks in the bonus frame and the offense delivered. Helping her own cause, Varela led off the frame with an RBI single to break the tie and ignite a six run Hazleton rally. The Lions reeled off five hits in the extra frame, capped by a two run double by Stauffer to put Hazleton on top 13-7.
Varela shut the door in the bottom half to escape the game with a hard earned eight inning win. The freshman picked up her fourth win of the year, allowing seven runs (six earned) to Mont Alto on 13 hits and three walks while striking out six.
Sara Stauffer led the offense with three hits in five trips to the dish including a double, home run and a season high four RBI. Kayla Rhome served up three singles, driving in two runs and scoring once and teammate Kaitlyn Kaluzny finished 3-4 at the plate with two RBI an a run scored.
Hazleton's two game sweep puts them on top the PSUAC standings at 9-1 heading into the final weekend of conference play. The Lady Lions will take a break from PSUAC action on Thursday when they travel to Wilkes University for an evening double header. First pitch at the Ralston Athletic Complex scheduled for 6:00 p.m.