DuBois, Pa. - One day after suffering an opening round defeat, Penn State Hazleton flipped the script with a mercy rule victory of their own, topping fifth seeded Central Maine Community College by the score of 12-2 in five innings. Hazleton out-hit the Mustangs 14-6 in the victory while senior Cassidy Lentz (Germansville, Pa.) picked up the win in the circle, tossing five strong innings and striking out four batters.
Hazleton fell behind in the third inning of Tuesday morning's game, trailing 2-0 and having just two hits to show for their efforts but as it turned out, the Lions broke the game open after a couple trips through the batting order. Hazleton stacked up five hits in the inning including back to back RBI singles from seniors Sky Esterly (Nazareth, Pa.) and Sadie Heiney (Palmerton, Pa.) along with a clutch two RBI single by freshman Macy Schnatter (East Stroudsburg, Pa.) that capped a five run inning for the Nittany Lions.
Lentz and the defense shut down Central Maine in order in the bottom half of the fourth and the Lions continued to rake in their next at-bats. In the top of the fifth inning, Hazleton added seven hits and took advantage of three Mustang errors to break away from Central Maine for good. Once again it was Esterly starting off the scoring, this time with a two RBI double to left field that opened the flood gates. Heiney, Lentz and sophomore Jess Lepore (Telford, Pa.) added RBI's in the inning paving the way for Schnatter to come through again, this time knocking a single to center field to plate Hazleton final two runs of the game, putting Hazleton on top 12-2. Lentz would go on strand a single Mustang hitter at third base to close out the win in five innings for Hazleton.
Next up: The Hazleton win keeps them alive in the USCAA Small College World Series and has earned the Lions a showdown with Carlow University Tuesday night. Hazleton and Carlow will square off in Heindl Field at approximately 7:00 p.m. this evening.