ALTOONA, Pa. – Penn State Altoona softball split its Sunday afternoon Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference doubleheader with D'Youville College, winning 9-1 in six innings in game one before falling 5-2 in game two at Stewart Athletic Field.
"I thought in the first game we played just about as best we can. We just have to now figure out how to get these second games to look like our first games," said Penn State Altoona head coach Joe Merilli. "I thought, hitting-wise, we did everything right in the first game. We just have to somehow figure out how to take that first game momentum into the second game. We just don't do that right now."
In game one, Emily Strouse (Beech Creek, PA/Central Mountain) recorded her team-leading 10th win of the season in the circle. The right-hander pitched a complete game, allowing just one run in six innings.
Olivia Miller (West Newton, PA/Yough) led the way for Penn State Altoona (17-12-1, 7-5 AMCC) at the plate, going 4-for-4 with a double, a run scored, and six runs batted in. Her six RBI are tied for the fourth-most in a single game by a Penn State Altoona softball player in program history.
The Lady Lions plated four runs in the bottom of the third inning to break a scoreless tie. Meghan Marasti's (Harrison City, PA/Penn Trafford) RBI single through the left side put the first run on the board for the home team, and Miller's two-run single up the middle made it 3-0. Willits added an RBI base hit up the middle to increase Penn State Altoona's lead to 4-0.
In the fourth, Penn State Altoona doubled its lead. Haley Giedroc (Howard, PA/Bald Eagle) was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to bring one run in, and Miller followed with a bases clearing double to center to make it 8-0.
D'Youville (9-12, 3-4 AMCC) got on the board in the top of the fifth in Jackie Langer's RBI single, but Penn State Altoona put the eight-run rule into effect in the bottom of the sixth when Miller's RBI base hit ended the game early for the Lady Lions.
In game two, Giedroc had three of Penn State Altoona's five hits, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and a run scored.
Sidney Shultz (Runville, PA/Bald Eagle) got the start in the circle and took the loss, pitching five innings. Strouse tossed two scoreless innings in relief.
D'Youville grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning on Darian Evans' two-run homer to left field. The Lady Lions got a run back in the bottom half of the inning when Ellie Leyo (Irvona, PA/Glendale) put down a sacrifice bunt that scored Marasti from third base, cutting the Lady Spartans' lead to 2-1.
But D'Youville countered with three runs in the top of the fifth on a Langer RBI triple, an Alexa Haberer run-scoring double, and an Evans RBI double. Penn State Altoona used Miller's RBI double to left in the bottom half of the inning to make it 5-2, but the Lady Lions were unable to get any more offense going.
Next up, Penn State Altoona softball hosts its final regular season home games on Wednesday, April 25 when it welcomes AMCC opponent Franciscan University to campus for a doubleheader beginning at 3:00 p.m.