Penn State Behrend Uses Extra Innings to Sweep Softball

Photo credit to Erika Helo.
Photo credit to Erika Helo.

Penn State Behrend swept the Pitt-Bradford softball team by scores of 9-6 and 14-4 Wednesday afternoon.

The Lions jumped out to a 5-0 lead in game one and frantically held on in the seventh to escape with the win.

A costly two-out error in the first by the Panthers led to the game's first two runs, and Penn State Behrend strung together three hits in the third to extend its lead to 5-0.

Maddy Hillery reached base in the bottom of the third on an error, and Madison East followed with a base hit to left field, scoring Betty Fratercangelo, who walked with one out. East stole second, and Dzurisin plated Hillery and East with a single to right field to make it 5-3.

The Lions got the run back in the top of the fourth, and poured it on in the sixth, stretching the lead to 9-3. Pitt-Bradford mounted a furious comeback in the seventh, yet came up short.

With one out in the frame, Cassidy Lewis and Betty Fratercangelo singled, and Lewis scored on Grace Dadzaa's hit to right field. On the same play, Fratercangelo was thrown out attempting to reach third, costing the Panthers a critical out. Back-to-back doubles by Hillery and East plated two more runs, cutting the deficit to 9-6, but Dzurisin flied out to end the game.

Eight different Panthers collected a hit, led by East's three. Cassidy Lewis suffered the loss, allowing nine runs, two earned, on 15 hits. She walked one, struck out one and suffered from five Pitt-Bradford errors.

Pitt-Bradford rallied from deficits of 3-0 and 4-3 to force extra innings in game two, only to see the Lions hit a go-ahead grand slam in the ninth to complete the sweep.

Madison East had a two-run triple in a three-run third inning, tying the game after Behrend had jumped ahead in the early innings.

The Lions moved back in front in next half inning on a RBI base hit, but a Penn State Behrend error in the fifth allowed Dadzaa to score from second, knotting the game at four runs apiece. Dadzaa had reach base via a Lion defensive miscue and stole second to move into scoring position.

Pitt-Bradford got the lead runner on both the seventh and eighth innings, yet could not bring around the winning run.

With two runners on in the top of the ninth inning and only one out, head coach Tina Phillips elected to walk Penn State Behrend's AJ Nichols to load the bases, and following a pitching change, Alexa Bupp uncorked a grand slam to deep left field. The Lions added six more runs before the inning concluded, and the Panthers quietly went 1-2-3 in their half of the inning.

Morgan Bellush was charged with the loss, giving up eight runs, seven earned, on 10 hits, in 8.2 innings. East totaled two of the Panthers' five hits, and Dadzaa stole two bases and scored twice.

The losses dropped the Blue and Gold to 6-17 on the season and 1-5 in the AMCC.

Pitt-Bradford announced after the game Thursday's non-conference doubleheader with Alfred State has been cancelled due to anticipated weather. The Panthers will travel to Pitt-Greensburg Saturday for an AMCC twinbill. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.