Hazleton falls to Iowa Wesleyan and Shawnee State in Florida spring games

Sarah Coolbaugh fields an ground ball at second base.
Sarah Coolbaugh fields an ground ball at second base.

Titusville, Fl. - Hazleton was back in action against Iowa Wesleyan and Shawnee State University on Monday in a pair of morning games at the Chain of Lakes softball complex on Florida's east coast.

Sophomore Samantha Varela was back in the circle for the Lady Lions against the Tigers of Wesleyan in the 8:00 a.m. matchup and limited the opponent to just two runs of offense, but Hazleton managed just three hits in the contest and fell 2-1. The Lady Lions would go on to face Shawnee State after a brief intermission but that break would do no favors for the offense. Despite a bounce back effort in the circle from freshman Mary Kate Penczkowski, Hazleton would be shut out by Bear's pitching, garnering just two hits in the 6-0 defeat. 

Game 1: Iowa Wesleyan 2, Penn State Hazleton 1

In Brief

After zeros for both teams in the first three innings of action, Iowa Wesleyan struck for solo scores in the middle innings to gain a slim advantage over Hazleton. The Lions would cut the lead in half late in the game, but would fail to produce in their final three attempts at the dish to fall to the Tigers 2-1 after defeating them 10-1 on Sunday.

Top Performers

The Tigers were led by the pitching effort of Julie Dodd who held Hazleton to just three hits spread out over three innings. Dodd allowed just one earned run in seven innings pitched, striking out three batters while walking just one. 

Jena Miller led all hitters for Iowa Wesleyan, driving in one runner in a 2-for-3 effort at the plate. Sydnee Stalker also collected two hits coming in two at bats while Caitlyn O'Neill went 2-for-4 with a run scored out of the lead off spot. 

Varela pitched a gem once more for the Lady Lions, allowing just one earned run on eight hits in six innings of work while striking out six Tiger hitters. The sophomore also reached base twice offensively, going 1-for-2 at the plate with a walk.

Rounding out the top efforts for the Lions were sophomore Vanessa Michael and senior Tina Beiland. Michael picked up a late hit in the seventh frame going 1-for-3 in the game while Beiland finished 1-for-2, tallying Hazleton's lone score in the sixth inning. 

Bottom 4th

After a pair of hits puts runners at second and third, Varela gets the next two hitters out via the pop up. With two out in the inning, an infield error allows in the game's first run but Varela stops the damage with a strikeout to end the frame.

Bottom 5th

With runners at first and second base, Jena Miller singles to center field, plating a run for the Tigers who extend their lead to 2-0.

Top 6th

Beiland singles to centerfield and reaches second on a fielding error. After advancing to third on a ground ball out, sophomore Noelle Bergerstock drives in the Hazleton run with a productive out to the right side of the infield to plate Hazleton's lone score of the game.

Game 2: Shawnee State University 6, Penn State Hazleton 0

In Brief

A close and competitive game for five innings, Hazleton held Shawnee to just two scattered runs over the first five innings of play. But Hazleton was held hit-less until a bunt single from Kiana Lukoskie broke the ice in the fifth frame and struggled to produce base runners against the effective Shawnee pitching. Shawnee capitalized in the sixth inning with four insurance runs to pull ahead by the eventual final score of 6-0.

Top Performers

Seven Bear's hitters collected hits in the late morning affair including multi-hit efforts from Ashtyn Saunders, Victoria Bevington and Katlyn Gleich. Bevington added two RBI and a run scored while Marisa Brown added a pair of runs driven in with a 1-for-3 effort at the plate. 

McKenzie Whittaker earned the shut-out victory for Shawnee, tossing six innings of two-hit softball, while walking just two batters.

Mary Kate Penczkowski tossed a fine game for Hazleton, allowing just two earned runs in the loss. The freshman allowed 10 hits spread out over the complete game effort, striking out two batters in the outing.

In a tough outing for Lady Lions hitters, Hazleton's two hits came late in the action. Kiana Lukoskie finished 1-for-2 with a bunt single in the sixth while freshman Jerikka Chorba went 1-for-3 with a single to left field in the sixth frame.

Top 1st

With a runner on second base, Marisa Brown singled to the gap in right center field to net the game's first score for Shawnee and a 1-0 lead after one inning.

Top 3rd

Brown strikes again for Shawnee as she tacks on a run via a bases loaded sacrifice fly. Penczkowski escapes the inning with minimal damage with a strike out and a ground ball to retire the side.

Top 6th

Shawnee all but secures the victory taking advantage of two Lady Lion miscues with a four run inning on three hits including a two-run double by Bevington in the middle of the action. 

Next Up

Hazleton earns the day off on Tuesday before returning to the field for a true double-header on Wednesday afternoon. The Lady Lions will look to bounce back when they take the field on Wednesday morning against United States Collegiate Athletic Association opponent Carlow University. After the 10:00 a.m. contest with Carlow, Hazleton will get one more crack against Shawnee at 12:30 p.m. before the final day of spring games on Thursday morning.