Akron, Oh. - After a difficult loss in the third round of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association Softball National Championships, Hazleton faced a familiar foe Tuesday evening in the 10th seed Penn State Brandywine. Brandywine broke onto the scoreboard in the second inning, then added a run in the fifth to take 2-0 advantage over Hazleton. Brandywine's Grace DeRosa stymied the Lion's bats, limiting Hazleton to four baserunners and just two total hits in the contest to shutout the Lady Lions and earn the 2-0 victory.
USCAA Softball National Championships - Penn State Brandywine 2, Penn State Hazleton 0
After scoreless innings for both squads in the first frame, Brandywine's Steph Harvey led off the top of the second inning with a hit by pitch and advanced to second on a groundout. With two outs, Katy Steffen found a hole through the middle of the Hazleton infield and a miscue in the Lady Lion outfield allowed Steffen to score from second base to put Brandywine on top 1-0.
Later in the fifth inning, Brandywine manufactured a score with three straight bunts to add an insurance run. Arianna Segich led off the frame with a bunt single down the third base line, then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Julia Allman. After stealing third base, Segich darted home on a bunt single by Robyn Gannon to increase the slim lead to 2-0 after five innings.
Hazleton was held to just one hit until freshman Samantha Varela (Hazleton, Pa.) laced a line drive single to lead off the Lady Lions final at bat, but three straight fly ball outs ended the ball game and Hazleton's hopes to pursue a USCAA championship.
Brandywine's Grace DeRosa pitched a complete game shutout, allowing just two hits and a walk while striking out four hitters in the winning effort.
Katy Steffen and Robyn Gannon led the Brandywine offensive effort, both players going 2-3 with an RBI.
Sophomore Sara Stauffer (Mifflinburg, Pa.) gave a great effort from the circle for Hazleton, allowing just two runs on six hits, but picks up the loss in game two of Tuesday's USCAA action.
Varela and sophomore Kaitlyn Kaluzny (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.) garnered Hazleton's only hits in the evening matchup, both finishing the game 1-3 at the plate.
A tough day for the Lady Lions who exit championship contention with a pair of close losses on Tuesday afternoon. Hazleton will have one more game to play in Ohio before wrapping up the season. The Lady Lions will face the College of St. Joseph (Vt.) on Wednesday at 12:00 noon for the fifth place consolation game.