Lady Lions drop double-header to U. of Scranton

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

Jessup, Pa. – The Lady Lions were back in action on Thursday night, taking on the NCAA III Royals of the University of Scranton. Hazleton threatened early in both contests, but failed to slow the Scranton offense who out-hit the Lady Lions 26-12 in the double-header. The Royals would use that advantage to slug their way to a pair of five inning wins over Hazleton, taking game one by the score of 9-1 and the final game by a margin of 11-3.

Game 1: University of Scranton 9, Penn State Hazleton 1 (Final, 5 Innings)

Top Performers

Scranton's Shannon Stricker finished a perfect 4-for-4 to lead all hitters in game one, scoring once and driving in the game-ending runs on a single in the fifth inning. Marisa Ciriello and Jaqueline DeSarro added multi-hit efforts with Ciriello scoring twice and driving in a pair while DeSarro finished with a run scored and an RBI.

Morgan Rentzheimer kept Hazleton scoreless after the second frame to pick up the win for Scranton, allowing one run in five innings of work while striking out nine Lady Lions.

Freshman Sarah Coolbaugh (Harding, Pa.) connected for Hazleton's only score with her third home run of the season, a solo shot in the second frame off Rentzheimer. Hazleton would collect just for total hits in the game, the others coming off the bat of freshmen Jerrika Chorba (Blooomsburg, Pa.) and Mary Kate Penczkowski (Hanover, Pa.) as well as senior Tina Beiland (Philadelphia, Pa.).

Moments that Mattered

Early Rallies Squashed

Hazleton had base runners early but failed to capitalize on their early success. Chorba led off the game with a double but was left stranded at third base after reaching the bag with less than two outs. Hazleton got a pair of singles after the Coolbaugh blast in the second frame but once again came up short against Rentzheimer who struck out four batters in the first two frames.

Scranton chips away at Varela

In a total team effort, the Royals used 14 hits and took advantage of a pair of Lady Lions errors to total their nine runs and close out Hazleton in five innings. Nine different Scranton hitters collected hits against the Hazleton ace, six of whom registered RBI's in the win.

Game 2: University of Scranton 11, Penn State Hazleton 3 (Final, 5 Innings)

Top Performers

Shannon Stricker backed up her game one performance with another top notch effort in game two. Striker struck for a two RBI double in the first inning on her way to a 2-for-3, three RBI finish in the win. Megan Zinn and Jenna Snyder both finished 2-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI while Molly Hampsey went 1-for-1 with three runs scored and an RBI.

Emily Simon allowed three runs on seven hits to earn the win for the Royals with three solid innings of work.

Coolbaugh continued her hot streak for Hazleton, notching a pair of hits with an RBI in game two. Sam Varela added an RBI double in the first inning for finish 1-for-3 while freshman Erin Schmick (Macungie, Pa.) smacked her second home run of the season in the third inning to end the game 1-for-3.

Moments that Mattered

Hazleton converts early

Chorba set the pace again for Hazleton in the second matchup of the evening, earning her second lead-off hit of the day. Sophomore Samantha Varela (Hazleton, Pa.) would cash in the freshman with a one double down the right field line to give Hazleton the early lead and later come in to score on a Coolbaugh single as Hazleton jumped out in front 2-0.

Scranton rolls on offense

Just as in game one, the Royals continued to pile on the hits against Lady Lion pitching. Scranton racked up 12 hits in their first three at bats, scoring big innings against Hazleton. The Royals respond to Hazleton's two run advantage in the first frame with a four run inning frame of their own, then tacked on seven scores in their next two at-bats, capping their surge with a five run, five hit third frame.

Next Up

Hazleton wraps up the 2017 non-conference schedule with their final road matchup of the season. The Lady Lions will travel to SUNY-Delhi to take on the Broncos in a weekend double-header on Saturday, April 22 at 2:00 p.m. before returning home to finish the regular season in the Penn State University Athletic Conference next week.