Drifton, Pa. - The Lady Lions shut down Penn State Wilkes-Barre for a pair of wins in their home opener on Monday afternoon, a pair of 15-0 victories. Lady Lion pitching held Wilkes-Barre to just one hit on the afternoon, extending their string of shut-outs to five straight and four consecutive wins Penn State University Atheltic Conference play. Hazleton hitters tagged Wilkes-Barre pitching for 23 hits to end the games early via the mercy rule, winning game one in four innings, followed by a three inning victory in the second outing.
Sophomore Samantha Varela (Hazleton, Pa.) stole the show in game one, powering the Lady Lions from the circle and the batter's box. Varela started the scoring in the first with a two run shot over the center field fence, then capped an 11 run inning for Hazleton with a grand slam. The sophomore proceeded to mow down opposing hitters, retiring 12 straight to earn the perfect game, no-hit victory as Hazleton eclipsed the 15 run margin after four innings.
Following that effort was freshman Mary Kate Penczkowski (Hanover, Pa.) who had shut-out her opponents in her previous two outings. With help from the offense, Penczkowski continued that roll on Monday, blanking the Wilkes-Barre offense in three innings of work to pick up the win. Hazleton jumped on Wilkes-Barre pitching for six run in the first and nine in the second frame, needing just two at bats to envoke the 15 run rule.
Game 1: Penn State Hazleton 15, Penn State Wilkes-Barre 0 (Final, 4 Innings)
Varela's 3-for-4, seven RBI effort was a season best for the sophomore. In addition to the perfect game shut-out, Varela also notched a season high with 10 strikeouts from the circle.
Freshman Jerrika Chorba (Bloomsburg, Pa.) went 2-for-3, driving in a pair of runs and rounding the bases for three scores. Senior Tina Beiland (Philadelphia, Pa.) added a mult-hit effort, going 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI and two runs scored to round out the top offensive efforts for the Lady Lions.
With Chorba aboard at second base, Varela starts the 11 run inning for Hazleton with a blast to center. The next seven hitters would reach safely, plating four more scores for Hazleton and bringing Chorba back to the dish. With runners at first and third, Chorba slaps an RBI single to keep the offense rolling and freshman Breann Fetterman (Mountain Top, Pa.) loads the bases with a base hit of her own. With seven scores already tallied, Varela blasts the bases loaded bomb, capping the 11 run inning with her second home run of the frame.
Tina Beiland starts off the frame with a double and Hazleton gets runners at second and third after a Wilkes-Barre fielding miscue and a wild pitch. Chorba singles to plate Beiland from third and Fetterman follows with a sacrifice bunt for an RBI. Varela adds a third Hazleton score and her seventh RBI of the game with a single to put the Lady Lions on top 14-0 after two innings.
Wilkes-Barre pitching walks the bases loaded and Beiland ends the game with an RBI single that scores sophomore Ariel Rowlands (Dorrance, Pa.) from third base.
Game 2: Penn State Hazleton 15, Penn State Wilkes-Barre 0 (Final, 3 Innings)
Sophomore Vanessa Michael (Bloomsburg, Pa.) smashed her third home run of the season, adding three more RBI in the game in a 2-for-2 effort at the plate in game two. Freshman Sarah Coolbaugh (Harding, Pa.) and Mary Kate Penczkowski both notched a pair of RBI with the duo both going 1-for-2 with a run scored. Other multi-hit efforts for Hazleton included sophomore Noelle Bergerstock (Muncy, Pa.) who went 2-for-2 while Jerrika Chorba and Sam Varela both went 2-for-3.
Mary Kate Penczkowski sat down nine of 12 batters faced, striking out five hitters to earn the three inning, shut-out win for Hazleton.
Hazleton sends 11 batters to the plate in their first at-bat to tally six scores in the first inning. Vanessa Michael drive in the Lady Lions first two scores with a one out double to start off the scoring. Freshman Erin Schmick (Macungie, Pa.) , Sarah Coolbaugh and Penczkowski each pick up RBI's in the frame as Hazleton builds a 6-0 cushion off a seven hit inning.
The Lady Lions pour on the offense with a nine run second frame that included six hits and a pair of Wilkes-Barre fielding miscues. Once again Michael starts off the big inning for Hazleton, this time with a solo home run. The next 11 hitters would reach safely including RBI singles from Coolbaug, Fetterman, and Varela as Hazleton went up big. Freshman Kiana Lukoskie (Trevorton, Pa.) would tally the final RBI of the inning on a hit by pitch, giving Hazleton the 15-0 winning advantage.
Hazleton is set to take the field on Tuesday, April 4 in a non-conference bout with Lackawanna College at 5:00 p.m. With rain in the forecast, stay tuned for schedule updates regarding tomorrow night's contest.