Hazleton grabs pair of non-conference wins at SUNY-Delhi

Nittany Lions congratulate one another at the pitching circle.
Nittany Lions congratulate one another at the pitching circle.

Delhi, Ny. - A long road trip and a slow start didn't stand in the way of Penn State Hazleton picking up their first back-to-back wins of the season. Hazleton came from behind to tally eight runs in the final three frames of game one, winning 8-4 over NCAA DIII SUNY Delhi and survived a late rally by the Broncos to win in extra innings in game two by the score of 4-2. 

Game one: Penn State Hazleton 8, SUNY Delhi 4 - Final, 7 Innings

Hazleton survived a less than savory start following the more than two hour trek to upstate New York. The Lions allowed a free run to Delhi in the first inning and the Broncos loaded the bases with no outs to start off the second inning. There SUNY capitalized with a sacrifice fly and a two-out single to plate three runs and post a 4-0 advantage over the Nittany Lions. Hazleton managed just three hits off Bronco pitching in their first four at-bats but things turned around for the Lions in the fifth inning. Hazleton racked up three straight singles to lead off the frame, capped by an RBI single from sophomore Macy Schnatter (East Stroudsburg, Pa.). Two batters later, freshman Erin Field (Lewisburg, Pa.) cashed in Hazleton second run of the game with a single to left field and Schnatter came around to make the score 4-3 on a ball caught in foul territory.

Back in the game, Hazleton's confidence began to snowball. Hazleton kept the momentum in the top of the sixth inning with freshman Tiffany Brogan (Shickshinny, Pa.) capping a streak of three straight singles with an RBI hit to right field. Moments later the Lions were on top for the first time all afternoon thanks to a Bronco fielding error before retiring the side. Hazleton finished out the game strong, getting a two-run blast from junior Linsey Fisk (Millville, Pa.) and run scored by sophomore Tori Rabuck (Tower City, Pa.) to go up four runs in the final inning. 

After the sluggish start defensively, Hazleton committed no errors after the first inning and freshman Hattie Flood settled in the circle to shut down the Bronco offense. Flood allowed just four hits from the third inning on, posting zeros on the scoreboard for the Broncos in their final five trips to the plate and securing the 8-4 victory for the Lions. Flood finished the day with a line of seven innings pitched, allowing four runs on eight hits with two walks for her first win of the season. Five Hazleton hitters had multi-hit games including Brogan, Fisk, Rabuck and Schnatter along with sophomore Taylor D'Attilio (Hammonton, Nj.) who finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored. 

Game two: Penn State Hazleton 4, SUNY Delhi 2 - Final, 8 Innings

Delhi refused to roll over for the Nittany Lions after the game one loss and Bronco pitching made it tough on the Hazleton hitters. The Lions scored one run in the first inning thanks to a leadoff double by Flood. Flood passed home plate on a sacrifice fly from Linsey Fisk but Hazleton registered just two hits in their next four trips on offense. The lack of offense didn't sink Hazleton's chances however as junior Paige Parisi (North Wales, Pa.) posted four straight zeros on the board for SUNY but Parisi and the Lions ran into trouble in the bottom of the fifth. Hazleton got two quick outs in the inning, but three straight Bronco singles ensued, scoring the tying run.

Parisi was able to strand runners at the corners to keep the game tied and in the top of the sixth inning, the Lions retook the lead. Mirroring their first score of the game, Hazleton's go-ahead run in the sixth featured a leadoff double by Flood followed by a sacrifice fly from Fisk. Parisi and the Lions shut down SUNY Delhi in the bottom of the sixth but the bottom of the seventh, Hazleton ran into trouble after the Broncos singled with one out and the runner advanced to second on a groundball out by the next hitter. With two away, Hazleton was just one out away from exited the game with a win, but a clutch two-out single by Delhi, knotted the score at 2-2. Parisi closed out the inning to send the game to extra frames and in the top of the eighth inning, Hazleton put the pressure on the Bronco defense, scoring a pair of runs with just one hit in the inning. Hazleton took advantage of three Delhi errors in the frame to go up two runs and the Lions closed out the game with a ground ball out and a double play to win 4-2. 

Parisi earned her second win of the season in the circle for Hazleton, tossing eight innings of two-run softball. The junior struck out three Delhi hitters while walking two batters in the win. Hazleton garnered just five hits in the game, including a 3-for-4 performance from Hattie Flood who went for two doubles and two runs scored to lead the offense. 

Next up: The Nittany Lions hit the road on Friday, April 7 for their first of two crossover events in the PSUAC. Hazleton will square off with Penn State Fayette on Friday beginning at 2:00 p.m. before traveling to Penn State New Kensington on Saturday for another 2:00 p.m. double-header.