Lady Lions drop pair of games vs. Carlow and Shawnee State

Kiana Lukoskie slides into home plate.
Kiana Lukoskie slides into home plate.

Titusville, Fl. – Following an day off on Tuesday, Hazleton was back in action with a pair of spring Florida games on Wednesday. Hazleton squared off with fellow United States Collegiate Athletic Association opponent Carlow University in the morning before taking on Shawnee State University for the second time this week in the afternoon contest.

Game 1: Carlow University 3, Penn State Hazleton 1

In Brief

The Lady Lions took an early 1-0 lead but Carlow quickly erased that advantage in the second frame. Hazleton would crack just three hits in the final six frames of the game, getting only one runner in scoring position over that stretch of innings and fail to mount a rally. Pitching continued to be solid for the Lady Lions, limiting Carlow to just six hits of their own but Carlow would tack on an insurance run in fifth inning to take the game by the final score of 3-1.

Top Performers

 Carlow was led by Abby Tatgenhorst who went 2-for-2 at the dish. Ashley Hoak finished 1-for-3 with an RBI while Haley Klein end the game 1-for-2 with a run driven in. Hurling for the win for Carlow was Madison Miller. Miller tossed a complete game, striking out six Lady Lions while allowing just one run on four hits and two walks.

Hazleton was led by sophomore Samantha Varela who went for seven strong innings in the circle and drove in the lone run for the Lady Lions on a sacrifice fly ball. Varela allowed three runs on six hits, struck out four Carlow hitters and walked three in the losing effort.

Bottom 1st

Lukoskie walked and stole a base, then advanced to third on a single by freshman Jerrika Chorba. With no outs and the first to hitters aboard, Sam Varela drove in the first score of the game with a sacrifice fly to right field.

Top 2nd

With runners at first and second base, Klein's grounder finds a hole up the middle to knot the score at one each. Carlow would load the bases but Varela would strikeout the next batter, needing just one more out to escape the inning. But a wild pitch would score the go ahead run before Varela would retire the side.

Top 5th

Carlow got the first batter on base and after swiping second, advanced to third on a ground out to the pitcher. With one out, Hoak's bloop single to center field stretch's Carlow's advantage to 3-1.

Game 2: Shawnee State University 5, Penn State Hazleton 1

In Brief

The Lady Lions would trail wire to wire but keep this one close until the final frame. A lopped sided inning that saw Shawnee tack on four runs in the bottom of the 7th would put the game out of reach for Hazleton. The Lady Lion's scoring struggles continued early but Hazleton's bats came to life late in the contest, racking up eight hits and two home runs in the contest. Hazleton would respond to the four run inning by Shawnee with a three run effort of their own, falling 9-4 in the end.

Top Performers

Ashtyn Saunders led the Bears with four hits in five at bats, scoring two runs with one RBI. Haley Rawlins garnered one RBI in a 3-for-4 day at the plate while Kaitlyn Gleich added two RBI and a run score in a 2-for-3 hitting effort.

McKenzie Whittaker earned the win for Shawnee, throwing five innings of one run ball. Whittaker limited Hazleton to just five hits, striking out one batter in the victory.

Hazleton was led by Samantha Varela who tagged the Bear's relief pitching for a 3 RBI home run in the final frame, finishing 3-for-4 with a run scored. Freshman Erin Schmick hit her first home run of the season in the fourth inning, going 2-for-3 in the afternoon contest. Dealing from the circle for Hazleton was freshman Mary Kate Penczkowski who threw five innings for the Lady Lions, allowing five runs on 11 hits in the loss.

 Top 1st
Shawnee would start off the game with back to back hits, scoring the first run of the game after a single by Saunder and a triple from Gleich. Gleich would come in on the next at bat via the sacrifice fly to give the Bears an early 2-0 lead but Hazleton would get the next two batters out to limit the damage.

Top 2nd

Shawnee strung back to back singles to start the inning and after a foul out to the catcher, loaded the bases with a line drive to right field. A dying quail over the second baseman pushed the score to 3-0 and tack on a second tally in the inning on a line drive single by Gleich to left field leaving Hazleton trailing 4-0.

Bottom 4th

Erin Schmick leads off the inning with a towering home run to left center field to get the Lady Lions on the scoreboard, trailing 4-1 through four innings of action.

Top 5th

A lead off walk for Shawnee comes back to haunt Hazleton. Haley Rawlins tags a line drive to left field, scoring the runner from second base to extend the lead back to four runs at 5-1 in favor of Shawnee.

Top 7th

After being hit by a pitch, Shawnee's Mackenzie Riley came around to score an insurance run on a double to left field by Miranda Melvin. Shawnee would load the bases and Melvin would come in to score on a wild pitch. Soon after, a walk would load the bases once more when Marisa Brown smoked a liner to left field, plating two more and giving the Bear's a sizeable cushion at 9-1.

Bottom 7th

Despite the eight run deficit, the Lady Lions refused to give up and worked quality at bats in the final frame. Freshman Kiana Lukoskie reached base on a hard hit grounder muffed by the third baseman, then Chorba singled to center to bring Varela to the plate. With two out and two aboard, Varela drove a deep fly ball over the left center field fence, bringing the score to its eventual end at 9-4 in favor of Shawnee State.

Next Up

The Lady Lions look wrap up their Florida trip on Thursday with a winning effort before returning home to continue the regular season. Hazleton will face defending United States Collegiate Athletic Association, St. Mary of the Woods in a true double-header beginning at 8:00 a.m. at the Chain of Lakes softball complex.