Wilkes-Barre, Pa. - The Lady Lions took a break from conference play on Thursday, traveling to the Ralston Sports Complex to face Wilkes University. Hazleton was shut down by a stellar pitching performance in game one, earning one just one hit in the final inning and falling by the score of 4-0. The Lion's offense came to life in the nightcap under the lights, but so did the Colonel bats. The Lions matched Wilkes University with 10 hits each, but Wilkes made the most of their connections, bunching their hits together for nine scores to just three runs for the Lions.
Game 1: Wilkes Universty 4, Penn State Hazleton 0
Wilkes hurler Bethany Shaud no-hit the Lady Lions through six innings, limiting Hazleton to just one base runner over the six inning stretch. Sophomore Kayla Rhome (Marysville, Pa.) threw an equally impressive game but fell victim to the bat of Colonel first baseman Christina Gambino. Gambino knocked in Wilkes' first two scores on a double to right center field in the second, then scuffed up Rhome's efforts in the bottom half of the sixth frame with a two RBI single to tallied all four Colonel scores. Sophomore Sara Stauffer (Mifflinburg, Pa.) broke up Shaud's no-hit bid with a lead off double in the seventh, but Shaud remained unphased retiring the next three Hazleton hitters in order to complete the shut out victory.
Alexis Ayache singled to lead off the frame and the runner moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt. A walk and a field's choice left runners at the corners for Gambino who delivered the two out double to put two runs on the board for Wilkes.
Once again Gambino comes to the dish with two outs, this time with runners at second and third base. Gambino drives a hard ground ball through the right side of the infield to plate the Colonel's third and fourth runs of the game.
Kayla Rhome tossed six innings for Hazleton, allowing four runs on six hits and one walk. Rhome struck out six Wilkes hitters in the tough luck loss.
Christina Gambino finished a perfect 3-3 at the plate driving in all four Colonel scores.
Bethany Shaud earn the victory with a one hit shut out performance from the circle, walking one batter and striking out three Lady Lions.
Game 2: Wilkes University 9, Penn State Hazleton 3
The Lady Lion offense righted the ship from game one to collect ten hits in the second contest, but some big hits by Wilkes and a series of Hazleton fielding mistakes resulted in a tough outing for Hazleton pitcher freshman Samantha Varela (Hazleton, Pa.) and a flurry of scoring in game two. The Colonels jumped out to a 3-0 with scores in the first two innings and then tacked on three more runs after Hazleton notched its first score of the night in the third inning. A solo home run expanded the Wilkes advantage to 7-1 before junior Leanne Lagowski (Wrightsville, Pa.) delivered a two run single in the top half of the sixth inning to cut the deficit to four runs. Hazleton closed the gap but surrendered two unearned runs in the latter half of the inning to fall to Wilkes by the final score of 9-3.
Wilkes hitters lead off with two walks and advance to scoring position on a wild pitch. Caitlyn Brown grounds out for the first out of the inning but moves up the runners to produce the game's first run. Gambino continues to swing the hot bat, striking a single to left field to add a second Colonel score.
A single and a walk lead off the Colonel's at bat in the second frame. Varela induces and fly ball out and gets a a double with the runner on first leaving early on the tag up. Varela induces a ground ball that could have gotten her out of the inning, but a throwing error costs the Lions and plates the third Wilkes score.
Freshman Moriah Lynn (Berwick, Pa.) and Sara Stauffer lead off the Hazleton half with consecutive doubles putting runners at second and third with no outs, chasing the Colonel hurler from the circle. But the relief pitcher retires the next three hitters in order to limit the damage to one Hazleton score on a Varela sacrifice fly ball that cut the lead to 3-1 in favor of Wilkes.
After retiring the first batter, Wilkes puts runners at second and third base with a pair of hits and a stolen base. An infield error by the Lions plates a Wilkes run and with two outs Lacey Bixler singles up the middle to drive in two additional scores, upping the Wilkes lead to 6-1.
Bixler strikes again, this time with a solo home run off Varela to push the score to 7-1 over Hazleton.
With one out in the inning, sophomore Britani Esser (Willingboro, Nj.) doubles but is thrown out attempting to advance to third when freshman Noelle Bergerstock (Muncy, Pa.) reaches base on a Wilkes fielding miscue. A double by sophomore Kaitlyn Kaluzny (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.) puts runners at second and third for the Lady Lions with two outs when Lagowski pulls through with a two RBI single to right center. Attempting to stretch the hit into extra bases, Lagowski is thrown out at second base to end the rally with Hazleton trailing 7-3.
Wilkes hitters earn just one hit off relief pitcher Britani Esser, but two more Hazleton fielding errors douse the Hazleton hopes of a comeback, allowing two Colonel baserunners to come around to score.
Varela earns the loss but allows just four earned runs to the Wilkes offense. The freshman gave up nine hits and an uncharacteristic five walks with one strikeout in the defeat.
Lynn, Kaluzny, Esser and sophomore Vanessa Michael (Bloomsburg, Pa.) accounted for eight of the Lions ten hits in the loss.
Lacey Bixler led the Wilkes attack going 2-2 with two runs scored and three RBI. Haley Welker and Ally Paskas both added multi hit games, going 2-3 with a run scored each. Welker added an RBI on a sac fly in the sixth, rounding out the Colonel's top hitters.
Christina Gambino came in in a relief situation to pick up the win for Wilkes. Gambino tossed four innings, allowing six hits and two unearned runs while striking out four Lady Lions hitters.
The Lady Lions return to conference play on Friday, April 22 when they travel to Dunmore, Pa to take on Penn State Worthington Scranton at 2:00 p.m.