Drifton, Pa. - The Lady Lions ended a stretch of 10 games in six days on Monday night with a pair of losses to the NCAA-3 Royals of the University of Scranton. Penn State Hazleton lost a closely contested battle with Scranton in game one by the slim margin of 3-2, then battled to tie through the first four innings of the nightcap until a seven run fifth inning broke the game open for the Royals leading to an 11-3 defeat of Hazleton.
Game 1: University of Scranton 3, Penn State Hazleton 2
Hazleton got runners into scoring position in both of the first two innings but failed to convert base runners into scores to give themselves a lead. After the Lady Lion defense pitched two scoreless innings, the Royals broke the stalemate in the third frame. Hazleton got the first two outs of the inning, the second of which came on a brilliant relay from right field to gun down Scranton's Kaitlyn Brogan attempting to stretch an extra base hit into a triple. But a walk and a double to subsequent hitters put two runners in scoring position, making way for a two RBI single by Jaqueline DeSarro to give the Royals a 2-0 advantage.
Freshman Moriah Lynn (Berwick, Pa.) led off the bottom half with her second single of the game moving up to third on a pair of Hazleton ground outs. Sophomore Sara Stauffer (Mifflinburg, Pa.) came through with a two out double to drive in Lynn from third and cut the score to 2-1 after three innings.
In the top half of the fourth, Scranton's Marisa Ciriello led off the frame with a solo home run to left field, extended the lead back to two runs at 3-1 in favor of the Royals.
Hazleton was held scoreless in their next two at bats, but loaded the bases with two outs in the sixth inning for the red hot bat of Moriah Lynn. Lynn delivered the big hit with a hard single up the middle, but the Lions could only advance one base, leaving Hazleton trailing 3-2 heading into the final frame, but the Lions would go down in order in the seventh, dropping game one by the final score of 3-2.
Sophomore Kayla Rhome (Marysville, Pa.) pitched well in the loss, tossing seven innings of three run ball. Rhome allowed 11 hits and a walk, but consistently minimized the damage, striking out five batters in the losing effort.
Moriah Lynn led the Hazleton offense, finishing the game a perfect 4-4 at the plate with a run scored and an RBI. Sara Stauffer and freshman Samantha Varela (Hazleton, Pa.) both ended the game 1-4 with Satuffer driving in the Lions first run in the third and Varela adding a run scored in the sixth inning. Sophomore Britani Esser (Willingboro, Nj.) was Hazleton's only other batter to collect multiple hits, finishing 2-3 at the plate.
Scranton's Morgan Rentzheimer allowed two runs on 10 hits with three strikeouts to earn the complete game victory for the Royals.
Molly Hampsey led the Royals hitters with a 2-3 effort at the plate, while teammate Jaqueline DeSarro finished 2-4 with two RBI on the double in the third inning.
Game 2: University of Scranton 11, Penn State Hazleton 3
Hazleton took their first lead of the night on an RBI single by sophomore Vanessa Michael (Bloomsburg, Pa.) then loaded the base with just one out in the first inning, but Royals pitching sat down the next two batters to limit the damage. Scranton repaid Hazleton with a three run five hit frame in the top of the second to take a 3-1 advantage.
Hazleton roared back with an inside the park home run by freshman Kayla Wirth (Bethlehem, Pa.). Wirth smoked a ball off the center field fence, driving in Sam Varela from second, then rounded the bases to tie the score at 3-3 after three innings of play.
The Lady Lions held Scranton scoreless in the fourth, but the first three Royals hitters reached safely to lead off the fifth frame and a bases clearing double from Marisa Ciriello broke the tie. Two additional runs would score on a Hazleton fielding error and with a runner on second base, Kaitlyn Brogan drove in two scores with a home run to cap the big inning for the Royals, giving them a 10-3 cushion over Hazleton. Scranton would hold Hazleton scoreless from the third inning on and an insurance run in the seventh to pick up the series sweep with an 11-3 win in game two.
Sam Varela led Hazleton with a 2-3 effort at the plate in game two, with a run scored. Moriah Lynn continued her hot hitting, finishing 2-4 with a run scored while Kayla Wirth ended the game 1-3 with two RBI on the home run in the third inning.
The Royals were led by Ciriello's 3-4 effort at the plate, driving in three RBI and scoring twice in the victory. Kaitlyn Brogan added three hits in five attempts, with three RBI and two runs scored as well.
Emily Simon picked up the win in the circle, tossing four innings while allowing three runs on two walks and seven hits. Jamie Hampsey shut the door on Hazleton, shutting out Hazleton in their final three at bats to seal the victory.
Hazleton earns a three day break before taking their home field once more on Friday, April 29th for their final regular season games, a non-conference double header with SUNY Canton set to start at 1:00 p.m. at the Drifton Sports Complex.