BUENA VISTA, Va. – The Penn State Harrisburg Softball Team traveled to Southern Virginia on Saturday to take on the Knights in an afternoon double-header. After a dominating performance in game 1, the Lions kept enough of the momentum going in the second contest to complete the sweep. Here is how each game played out.
The Lions got off to a terrific start in the early game and never looked back, scoring three runs in the first frame. After starting off the game with a single and a stolen base, Kayla Seyfert completed her trip around the bases on a knock from Amanda Hartman's bat that resulted in a fielding error by Knights 1B Mollie Gabbert. A couple of at-bats later with two down, Dominique Emmett singled in two more runs on an infield single. 3-0 Lions
Good things kept happening offensively for the Blue and White in the second innings as well. Jenna Rupakus started things off by reaching base on an error by shortstop Mykayla Johnson, allowing the baserunner to advance to second base on the play. After being issued a walk a couple of batters later, Erelle Sowers successfully stole second base, which led to another fielding error and steal of home plate by Rupakus. Emily Parmer then singled up the middle in the following at-bat to bring Sowers home. The Lions weren't finished yet though. After another successful steal of second base, Parmer was brought home by an Amanda Hartman single up the middle. An unsuccessful throwing attempt at the plate by the Knights would allow Amanda Hartman to advance to second base. With still only one out in the inning, Dominique Emmett reached base on a fielder's choice that saw Amanda Hartman complete her trip around the bags. 7-0 Lions
Southern Virginia was finally able to get on the board in the bottom half of the fourth inning. With one out and a runner on second base, Melanie Peyton managed to lay down a successful bunt while attempting to move the runner to third, but ended up with much more due to a fielding error by 3B Kristen Evans. Peyton advance to second base and the runner scored. Another fielding error by RF Erelle Sowers with two outs would allow Peyton to tack on an additional run before the Lions closed out the frame. 7-2 Lions
Penn State Harrisburg blew the door off the hinges in the top of the sixth inning, scoring an impressive eight runs. A Jessica Roelli single and a Dominique Emmett double tacked on two more runs before the Knights could record an out. After getting two quick outs, Southern Virginia pitching began to struggle. Jenna Rupakus doubled to left field, allowing Emmett to score. In the next at-bat, Nicole Ditzler smacked a single to third base, bringing Rupakus home. Before all was said and done, and additional four runs would be scored by way of an Emily Parmer 2 RBI double to left center field, an Emma Lerchen RBI double to right center field, and a Jessica Roelli RBI single to left field. 15-2 Lions
Due to the run differential, the game was called after six innings of play.
Final Score: Penn State Harrisburg 15 Southern Virginia 2
WP: Emma Lerchen (1-0) LP: Megan Harmon (5-6)
The second match would prove to be a tighter contest than the first, but Penn State Harrisburg was able to pick up right where they left off, scoring two runs right off the bat in the first inning. With runners on second and third base and one away, Amanda Hartman finished her plate appearance with a solid single to left field that brought Kayla Seyfert home from third. Emily Parmer attempted fate by trying to round third and come all the way home for an additional run, but was gunned down at the plate on a solid relay throw. The throw would allow Amanda Hartman to advance to second base. In the following at-bat, Dominique Emmett smacked a hit up the middle to bring Amanda Hartman home. 2-0 Lions
In the top of the second inning, Penn State Harrisburg succeeded by adding three more runs to their lead. With two outs and runners positioned at second and third, Emily Parmer came to the plate, but ended up striking out. However, strike three got past the catcher, allowing Katie Shwenk to score from third. Parmer ended up at first base on the play. A wild pitch in the next at-bat would score Kayla Seifert from third base. Amanda Hartman would then finish her at-bat with an RBI single up the middle that allowed Parmer to score. 5-0 Lions
In the third inning, Carlee Gochenaur would make for an exciting play by successfully stealing home with two outs in the inning. 6-0 Lions
Southern Virginia cut the Lions lead in half in the bottom half of the third inning. With runners on first and second bases with one out, Megan Harmon came through for her club with an RBI double to center field. A 2 RBI double by Mykayla Johnson in the following at-bat would tack on two more for the Knights. 6-3 Lions
Emily Parmer led off the top of the fourth inning with a single and stolen base. Parmer would then score on Amanda Hartman's infield ground ball that led to a fielding error by 2B Rachael Moore. 7-3 Lions
Penn State Harrisburg's white-hot offense was back at it in the fifth inning, scoring another two runs. With two outs and the bases juiced, Amanda Hartman knocked in the run from third on a fielder's choice, however no out was recorded in time and the inning continued. A wild pitch in the following at-bat would advance each runner, resulting in the inning's second run. 9-3 Lions
Despite holding a six-run lead late in the game, Southern Virginia refused to go away. With two outs and two on in the bottom of the fifth, Knight's hitter Mollie Gabbert stepped to the plate and proceeded to smash a liner down the left field line that found its way over the fence, scoring three. 9-6 Lions.
The Knights would make one last push in the bottom of the seventh. They would manage to load the bases with one away to make things interesting. Rachael Moore would come to the plate and eventually reach base on a fielder's choice that earned the second out of the inning, but not before the runner from third could score. Lions pitcher Erelle Sowers was able to come through in the clutch and get a strikeout to end the game in the next at-bat. 9-7 Lions.
Final Score: Penn State Harrisburg 9 Southern Virginia 7
WP: Allison Hartman (3-3) LP: Megan Stapley (2-7)
Emily Parmer (3-7, 2B, 3 RBI, 4 R, 2 BB, 3 SB, SAC)
Dominique Emmett (4-9, 2B, 4 RBI, R)
Kayla Seyfert (3-5, 3 R, 2 BB, 3 SB)
Amanda Hartman (3-7, 4 RBI, 3 R, SB)
Up Next: The Penn State Harrisburg Softball Team returns home to take on Franklin & Marshall in an afternoon double-header on Tuesday, March 28th. Game 1 first pitch is scheduled for 3:00 PM.