Phoenixville, Pa. - In their first action since the spring trip to Titusville, Fl., the Lady Lions were finally able to take the field as they traveled on Saturday for a double header at the University of Valley Forge. Hazleton racked up a combined 28 hits in the double-header to total 30 runs on the afternoon while holding the Defenders to just five hits and one score on the afternoon to sweep the non-conference series.
Six Lady Lions tallied multi-hit efforts in game one as the Lions pulled away early, tacking on 17 runs in the first three innings of play. Overall, Hazleton benefitted from 10 free passes courtesy of Valley Forge pitching, converting those base runners into 20 scores with 18 hits in the contest. Sophomore Samantha Varela (Hazleton, Pa.) pitched three innings of no-hit softball before surrendering Valley Forge their lone run of the day in the fourth inning, but followed with a clean frame in the fifth to earn the win.
Hazleton continued to dominate in game two behind the pitching of freshman Mary Kate Penczkowski (Hanover, Pa.). The hurler tossed five innings of two-hit ball, blanking the Defenders for the shut-out victory. Hazleton chipped away at Valley Forge pitching for scores in each of their at bats, capped by a three run fifth inning to inflict the mercy rule by the final score of 10-0.
Game 1: Penn State Hazleton 20, University of Valley Forge 1 (Final, 5 Innings)
Senior Tina Beiland (Philadelphia, Pa.) tagged Defender pitching for three hits in four trips to the plate, notching a game high five RBI that included a two run double in the second inning. Sam Varela, who struck out a season high nine batters from the circle, finished 3-for-5 with three RBI on a pair of triples and three runs scored while freshman Breann Fetterman (Mountain Top, Pa.) added two RBI on a 2-for-3 effort at the dish.
Rounding out the top efforts for the Lady Lions were freshmen Jerrika Chorba (Bloomsburg, Pa.), Erin Schmick (Macungie, Pa.) and Sarah Coolbaugh (Harding, Pa.) who knocked two hits a piece. Chorba drove in three scores for Hazleton with Schmick and Coolbaugh both drove in one.
Valley Forge was led by Lindsay LeSueur who finished 1-for-2 with an RBI. Bailey Mayforth broke up the no-hitter in the fourth inning to finish 1-for-2, scoring the Defender's lone run on the LeSueur single.
Hazleton scored seven runs on six hits to burst out of the gates, sending 11 batters to the dish in the first frame. Jerrika Chorba set the pace, walking and eventually scoring to lead off the inning, then drove in a pair of runs to cap the first inning scoring with a single to right center field and give Hazleton a 7-0 lead.
With two outs and runners at the corners, Coolbaugh delivers an RBI single to left field and Beiland follows with a double to the left field gap, scoring sophomore Noelle Bergerstock (Muncy, Pa.) and Coolbaugh to boost the lead to 10-0 in favor of Hazleton.
Hazleton gets the first two hitters aboard and Varela knocks her second triple of the afternoon to drive in the pair. The Lady Lions would go on to tack on five more runs in the inning, including an RBI single to right field from Fetterman before Valley Forge retired the side on an inning ending double play.
Having had RBI's in each of the first three innings, Beiland strikes again with a bases loaded single to score freshman Kiana Lukoskie (Trevorton, Pa.) from third base. Hazleton would add a second score in the inning on a defender miscue to extend their lead to 19-0.
A bunt base hit by Mayforth transforms into a Defender score two batters later. LeSueur singles in to centerfield to bring in Mayforth to get Valley Forge on the board and break up the Varela shut-out effort.
Varela and Schmick lead off with back to back singles and with one out, sophomore Ariel Rowlands (Dorrance, Pa.) drives in the final Hazleton score with a line drive to left field, scoring Varela from second base.
Game 2: Penn State Hazleton 10, University of Valley Forge 0 (Final, 5 Innings)
Jerrika Chorba went for her second multi-hit effort on Thursday, netting two hits in three at bats, scoring twice in the win for Hazleton. Noelle Bergerstock added a 2-for-4 performance with a run scored while Mary Kate Penczkowski finished 2-for-3 with an RBI. Erin Schmick drove in three runs for Hazleton in a 1-for-3 effort, notching two separate RBI's on bases loaded walks.
Penczkowski was dealing in the second game, allowing just two hits to the Defender offense. The freshman picked up the shut-out victory, striking out six in five innings of action.
Shania Walker and Megan Freed earned both knocks for Valley Forge, both ending the game 1-for-2 at the plate.
A walk to Chorba, a single by Fetterman and walk to Varela, loads the bases for Hazleton. Sophomore Vanessa Michael (Bloomsburg, Pa.) and Erin Schmick follow with back to back walks to put Hazleton on top 2-0 and force a Defender pitching change. Kiana Lukoskie follows with an RBI single to left field, giving the Lions a 3-0 advantage after one inning of play.
Chorba leads off the frame with a triple to center and comes in to score on a sacrifice fly by Fetterman. After a Varela double, Schmick singles to center to plate a second score and give Hazleton a 5-0 cushion.
With one out and Bergerstock safely aboard at third base, Penczkowski lines a single to left field for a 6-0 Hazleton lead.
Hazleton manufactures a run with the help of two Defender miscues. After reaching on an error, Vanessa Michael works her way to third base with one out, coming in to score on a Lukoskie ground ball to the shortstop.
Hazleton tacks three insurance runs to seal up the victory in five innings. The Lady Lions load the bases with two outs and the patient Schmick works a walk for her third RBI. A misplayed ball in the outfield leads to two additional runs as Hazleton goes up by the final score of 10-0.
Hazleton wraps up the its early season non-conference action after a series of postponements and cancelations. The Lady Lions will face their first test in the Penn State University Athletic Conference on Wednesday, March 29 when they travel to Penn State Schuylkill for a pair of afternoon games starting at 2:00 p.m.