Lions drop pair closely contested matchups with Lackawanna College

Macy Schnatter hits a home run to left field.
Macy Schnatter hits a home run to left field.

Drums, Pa. - The Nittany Lions record fell to 8-16 on the season Tuesday with a pair of home losses to Lackawanna College. Hazleton competed well in both contests but the Lions couldn't muster the offensive firepower to get past the Falcon pitching. Hazleton earned just four hits in the game one, losing 5-1 in seven frames. Later in game two, the Lions bats came alive for 12 base hits, matching the visitors but Lackawanna stranded seven Nittany Lion baserunners to take game two by the score of 9-4. 

Game one: Penn State Hazleton 1, Lackawanna College 5 - Final, 7 Innings

After two scoreless innings, the Falcons broke the stalemate in the top of the third inning, cashing in three runs on three hits, a walk and a Nittany Lion fielding error. Back to back hits including an RBI double yielded a single score for the Falcons in the top of the fourth inning to put the visitors up 4-0 before Hazleton got their first hit of the game off Falcon pitcher, Ally Lemerise in the bottom half of the inning. Hazleton threatened in the fourth frame, getting a double from junior Linsey Fisk (Millville, Pa.) and a single by sophomore Tori Rabuck (Tower City, Pa.). With runners at the corners, Hazleton broke up the shut-out with a double-steal that scored Fisk to bring the score to 4-1. With two outs in the inning, Hazleton got a bunt single from sophomore Ashley Wilson (East Stroudsburg, Pa.) to keep up the pressure but Lemerise induced an inning-ending ground ball to shut down the threat. Hazleton would register just two base runners for the remainder of the game, while Lackawanna tacked on an insurance score in the seventh inning to sure up the victory. 

Hazleton played well defensively and freshman Hattie Flood (Blairs Mills, Pa.) tossed another solid outing in defeat. Flood allowed four earned runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out one batter in seven innings of play but did not get the run support to compete for the win. Hazleton was led by Fisk who had two doubles who had two doubles in the three at bats, scoring Hazleton's lone run in the fourth inning.  

Game two: Penn State Hazleton 4, Lackawanna College 9 - Final, 7 Innings

The offenses woke up for both team in game two. Once again, the Falcons claimed the early lead, going up 3-0 on Hazleton in the first inning of play. A lead-off error sparked the Falcon charge followed by three hits including an RBI triple but Hazleton would find their bats midway through the contest. In the bottom of the third inning, Rabuck shrank the Falcon lead to just one run, smashing a two-out single up the middle to score Hattie Flood and freshman Erin Field (Lewsiburg, Pa.) who singled earlier in the inning. After posting a zero on the board in the top of the fourth, Hazleton was back at it in their next at bat. Sophomore Macy Schnatter (East Stroudsburg, Pa.) led off the frame with a home run over the left field wall to tie the game. Hazleton got three additional base runners in the inning but a quirky double-play ended the inning with the Lions getting just one addition score. Unfortunately, the Lions lead didn't last for long. Lackawanna came back in the top of the fifth inning, scoring three runs on four hits to retake command of the ball game 6-4 and continued to add on in the final two innings. A two-run home run by the Falcons in the sixth and an RBI single in the seventh inning extended the Falcon lead to 9-4 as they shut down Hazleton in their final three at bats to take the two-game sweep. 

After pitching well in game one, Hattie Flood sparked much of the offense for Hazleton in game two. Flood went 4-for-4 in the game with a run scored to lead all hitters while Field, registered a 3-for-4 performance in the second spot in the order, scoring once and driving in a run. Schnatter finished the game 3-for-3 with the home run to round out Hazleton's top hitting efforts. Freshman Tiffany Brogan (Shickshinny, Pa.) allowed just five earned in seven innings pitched, striking out four Falcon hitters in the losing effort. 

Next up: A big weekend is in store for the Nittany Lions who are looking to remain in the playoff hunt. Hazleton will travel to Penn State DuBois on Friday, April 14 for a two-game slate beginning at 2:00 p.m. in Heindl Field before heading south for a double-header at Penn State Mont Alto on Saturday, April 15.