Media, Pa. - The Nittany Lions opened their conference schedule on Tuesday afternoon, squaring off with defending champion Penn State Brandywine in a double-header at the Maplezone Sports Complex in Aston, Pa. Hazleton struggled to connect offensively, earning just six hits on the day and falling in both games by scores of 9-0 and 14-3.
Game One: Penn State Hazleton 0, Penn State Brandywine 9 - Final, 5 Innings
A pair of big innings allowed Brandywine to open up a comfortable lead in game one. The home squad jumped ahead with a three-run first frame, tallying three runs on a walk and three hits, all of which came with two outs in the inning. Hazleton pitching bounced back with a clean sheet in the second frame but Brandywine struck for five runs in the third stanza to blow the game open. This time Brandywine landed the first four hitters of the inning on base, scoring two runs in the process. Hazleton retired the fifth batter of the inning but back-to-hits and a fielding error plated three additional scores before Hazleton could retire the side. Hazleton broke up the no-hitter for Brandywine in the top half of the fourth inning with a double by sophomore Tori Rabuck (Tower City, Pa.) and junior Linsey Fisk (Millville, Pa.) followed with a single to left field but Brandywine squashed the rally with a two-out strike out to end the inning. Brandywine tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the fourth to make the score 9-0 and shut down Hazleton in the fifth inning to end the game.
Game Two: Penn State Hazleton 3, Penn State Brandywine 14 - Final, 5 Innings
Hazleton started off game two in better fashion by shutting down Brandywine in the first inning, but the home team's offense came back to life in the middle innings to make this a one sided affair. Brandywine notched four hits and used three walks to plate five runs in the second inning, and proceeded to tack on nine additional runs over their next two at-bats to pull ahead by double-figures. Hazleton registered a run in the top half of the fourth inning after Linsey Fisk singled and came around to the plate on a wild pitch and score two runs in the fifth inning off RBI hits from sophomore Ashley Wilson (East Stroudsburg, Pa.) and Tori Rabuck but it was not enough to match the Brandywine offense, resulting in a fifth inning finish.
Next up: Hazleton squares off with Wilkes University on Wednesday evening, playing a 4:00 p.m. double-header at the Ralston Athletic Complex.