NAPLES, Fla. – Penn State Altoona softball went 1-1 on Monday in a pair of games in the Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic, losing 13-4 to Kenyon College before bouncing back for a 7-5 victory over Drew University.
The Lady Lions (2-4) had a strong day at the plate, combining for 25 hits in Monday's contests.
"I think, after a rough start to the day focus-wise, we finished really well. The team came together and were totally focused on getting the win versus Drew," said Penn State Altoona head coach Joe Merilli. "We really cleaned up a lot in the field, and the pitchers did a good job of keeping good hitters off balance. So, now we can look to build on the afternoon win and see if we can come away with a couple wins tomorrow."
Game One: Kenyon 13, Penn State Altoona 4 (Final/5 innings)
The Lady Lions got their bats going, but they were unable to overcome a 13-run performance by Kenyon (3-0) in a run-rule loss.
Abby Showers (Philipsburg, PA/Philipsburg-Osceola) led the way at the plate for Penn State Altoona, going 3-for-3 with a run scored. Sidney Lewis (Smithmill, PA/Moshannon Valley) was 2-for-3 with a run batted in and a run scored, and Olivia Miller (West Newton, PA/Yough) hit her first home run of the season and had two RBI.
Kenyon grabbed the lead in the top of the first when Grace Finn led off the game with a home run to right field. The Ladies made it 3-0 on Grace Pilz's two-run homer to right-center in the top half of the second inning.
Penn State Altoona used the long ball to get on the board in the bottom of the second, when Miller's two-run shot to left-center cut Kenyon's lead to 3-2.
Kenyon came back with four runs in their half of the third. Nicole Bishay's RBI single to shortstop and Emily Buckwalter's RBI double to right-center brought two runs in, and Pilz's groundout and Bella Albrecht's single scored two more to make it 7-2.
Lewis' RBI single got a run back for Penn State Altoona in the bottom of the third, and she later scored on an infield error to make it 7-4.
But Kenyon used a six-run top of the fourth to take a commanding 13-4 lead. After Britny Patterson's RBI single and Bishay's bases-loaded walk, Buckwalter hit a grand slam to left field to give the Ladies a nine-run lead.
Game Two: Penn State Altoona 7, Drew University 5
After recording 10 hits against Kenyon, Penn State Altoona posted 15 hits in their two-run victory over Drew (1-3). Six Lady Lions had a multi-hit game in the win.
Showers went 3-for-4 with three runs scored, and Lewis was also 3-for-4 with two runs scored and one RBI.
Marasti had a 2-for-4 game with two doubles, two RBI, and one run scored. Miller was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI, Jayde Burge (Philipsburg, PA/Philipsburg-Osceola) was 2-for-4 with two RBI, and Kaitlyn Harmon (Sunbury, PA/Shikellamy) was 2-for-4 with one RBI.
Lewis started in the circle and took a no decision, pitching 5 1/3 innings and allowing four runs on four hits and four walks while striking out a pair. Sarah Gearhart (McVeytown, PA/Mount Union) pitched the final 1 2/3 innings of the game to pick up the win, allowing one run on three hits and striking out one.
Lewis' RBI single to left in the top of the first inning put Penn State Altoona in front. Drew tied the game in the bottom of the second on an RBI hit by Renata Primmer.
The Lady Lions grabbed the lead back in the top of the third, when Marasti's RBI double to right put her team up by one, and Miller's two-run double to left made it 4-1.
Paxtan Perry's RBI double to right in the bottom of the fourth inning cut Drew's deficit to two, 4-2.
Penn State Altoona padded its lead with a run in the top of the fifth inning, as Burge's RBI single to center in the fifth.
Drew tied the score in the bottom of the sixth, as Primmer's two-run double and Perry's steal of home knotted things up 5-5.
But the Lady Lions responded by adding two runs in the top of the seventh, as RBI base hits from Burge and Harmon made it 7-5.
Penn State Altoona softball faces two more teams in the Cusic Classic tomorrow, Tuesday, March 5, at North Collier Regional Park. The Lady Lions start their day with a game against Clark University at 9:00 a.m., followed by a matchup with Elms College at 11:00 a.m.