ALTOONA, Pa. – Penn State Altoona softball hosted its first Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference games of the season on Saturday afternoon against Medaille College, and the Lady Lions won game one 3-1 before falling 4-3 in game two at Stewart Athletic Field.
"We continued to pitch and field pretty well, but ran into a good pitcher that we didn't make the necessary adjustments at the plate against," said Penn State Altoona head coach Joe Merilli. "I think we are where we need to be to continue to improve and be one of the top teams in the conference. Today, we as coaches feel we stole one in the first game and gave one away in game two."
Despite being limited to just four hits in game one of the doubleheader, Penn State Altoona (10-8, 1-1 AMCC) used strong pitching to lead the way to victory.
Emily Strouse (Beech Creek, PA/Central Mountain) improved her season record to 4-2 with a complete game win in the circle. In seven innings of work, she surrendered just six hits, one run, and one walk while striking out two batters.
Medaille (9-9, 2-2 AMCC) put the game's first run on the board in the top of the second inning, when Mikayla Schlehr's two-out RBI single to center put the Lady Mavericks up 1-0.
Penn State Altoona broke through for three runs in the bottom of the fifth, helped by two big Medaille errors. With runners at first and second, Ellie Leyo (Irvona, PA/Glendale) put down a sacrifice bunt and reached safely on a throwing error by the pitcher, allowing Cassidy Stover (Spring Mills, PA/Penns Valley) to score from second. During that play, another infield throwing error let Showers advance home. One batter later, Giedroc's RBI single up the middle made it 3-1.
In game two, Sidney Shultz (Runville, PA/Bald Eagle) started in the circle and took the loss, going five innings and yielding three earned runs. Strouse tossed two scoreless innings in relief.
Jenna Myers (Garnet Valley, PA/Garnet Valley) hit 1-for-3 with an RBI triple for Penn State Altoona. Olivia Miller (West Newton, PA/Yough) was 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored, Meghan Marasti (Harrison City, PA/Penn Trafford) batted 1-for-3 with an RBI, and Showers was 1-for-3 with a run scored, a walk, and a stolen base. Giedroc finished 1-for-2 with a run scored, a walk, and a steal.
Marasti's RBI single down the left field line helped Penn State Altoona draw first blood in the bottom of the first inning.
After Medaille tied the game 1-1 in the top of the third on Morgan Bedford's RBI single to shortstop, the Lady Lions plated two in the bottom half of the inning. Giedroc drew a walk with two outs and stole second to put herself in scoring position. Miller followed with an RBI single up the middle, and Myers' RBI triple to right field put Penn State Altoona ahead 3-1.
But Medaille rallied for three runs in the top of the sixth. After the first two batters reached on a walk and an error, Lauren Kocher's double to center plated both runners. An outfield error following Laura Kratzke's base hit allowed the go-ahead Medaille run to score, and the Lady Mavericks escaped with the doubleheader split.
Penn State Altoona softball is slated to return to action on Monday, April 2 for a home doubleheader against AMCC opponent La Roche College. Game one is scheduled to begin at 3:00 p.m.