Lions capture first conference win over PSU Beaver

Erin Field ready for a play at second base.
Erin Field ready for a play at second base.

Hazleton, Pa. - Hazleton snapped a seven game skid on Sunday taking one of two games against Penn State Beaver in the Lion's first crossover matchup in conference play. Hazleton and Beaver squared off at the newly renovated Hazleton Area High School softball Field with the Lions taking game one by the score of 4-3 but Beaver bounced back with a fine pitching and defensive effort to tackle Hazleton in game two by the score of 5-1. 

Game one: Penn State Hazleton 4, Penn State Beaver 3 - Final, 7 Innings

Hazleton got off to a great start to the day, taking a 1-0 lead in the second frame off a single by sophomore Taylor D'Attilio (Hammonton, Nj.), driving in sophomore Tori Rabuck from second base. In the third frame it was sophomore Linsey Fisk inflicting the damage, crushing a line drive over the left field wall, a two-run home run to put Hazleton on top 3-0. Junior Paige Parisi (North Wales, Pa.) cruised through the first three innings of play but Beaver put the pressure on Hazleton in the top of the fourth. The visitors took advantage of two walks in the inning, using a pair of hits to scratch out three runs of their and tie up the ball game but Parisi and the Lions escaped the inning on a play at the plate. Hazleton re-took the lead in the fifth frame after Rabuck doubled to lead off the inning. The sophomore landed herself on third base with one out in the inning and came home for the go-ahead score on a sacrifice fly by sophomore Athena Matenkoski. Beaver nearly tied the game in the sixth inning but were shut down after a fine defensive play by Hazleton stranded a runner at third base and Parisi closed out the complete game victory with a near flawless seventh inning to give Hazleton the win. 

Hazleton collected eight hits in the victory, three of which came off the bat of Rabuck who went 3-for-3 with a pair of runs scored. Fisk finished 1-for-3 with the home run while D'Attilio posted a 2-for-2 effort at the plate. In the circle, Parisi collected her first win of the season, tossing seven innings while allowing three runs on nine hits and four walks. 

Game two: Penn State Hazleton 1, Penn State Beaver 5 - Final, 7 Innings

Hazleton matched their hit output in game two, but Beaver pitching was able to spread out the hits leaving little on the table for the Hazleton hitters. After falling behind 1-0 in the second inning, Hazleton had a chance to tie or go ahead in the third inning, but came up empty after back to back hits with one out in the inning. Beaver tacked on an unearned run on the Lions in the fourth inning and two more in the fifth frame, getting a pair of hits with two outs to open up a 4-0 advantage. Rabuck drove in Hazleton's lone run of the game on a fielder's choice in the bottom of the fifth but Beaver pitching seemed to have Hazleton's number in game two, inducing ground ball after ground ball to rack up the outs. An insurance run in the seventh inning sealed the Lions fate, preventing the crossover sweep for Hazleton with a 5-1 win. 

Three Nittany Lions registered multiple hits in the game but Hazleton was unable to string enough together to produce runs in this one. Freshmen Hattie Flood (Blairs Mills, Pa.) and Erin Field (Lewisburg, Pa.) both went 2-for-4 in the loss with Field scoring Hazleton's lone run of the game. Taylor D'Attilio was a perfect 2-for-2 in back to back games to round out the top hitting efforts for Hazleton. Tiffany Brogran (Shickshinny, Pa.) pitched well in the loss, throwing seven innings while allowing three earned runs on eight hits and pair of walks while striking out two hitters. 

Next up: Hazleton is back on the road on Tuesday afternoon for a non-conference bout with SUNY Delhi. First pitch is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. in Delhi, Ny.