BUFFALO, N.Y. – Penn State Altoona softball closed out its regular season with a doubleheader split against Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference opponent D'Youville College on Saturday, winning 6-5 in game one before taking a 13-1 loss in game two at Dobson Field.
With the split, Penn State Altoona (18-18, 8-10 AMCC) kept its AMCC Tournament hopes alive, but the Lady Lions will still need some help to ultimately secure a spot in the playoffs.
"We made a good run at the end of the season, going 7-3 in our last ten conference games to give ourselves a chance to make the tournament," said Penn State Altoona head coach Joe Merilli. "Now we just need to wait and see if we get some help."
Game One: Penn State Altoona 6, D'Youville 5
The Lady Lions picked up a big win in game one, hanging on to secure their eighth AMCC victory of the season.
Abby Showers (Philipsburg, PA/Philipsburg-Osceola) went 3-for-4 with a double and three runs scored. Olivia Miller (West Newton, PA/Yough) was also 3-for-4 with two runs batted in, one run scored, and one stolen base. Meghan Marasti (Pittsburgh, PA/Penn-Trafford) hit 2-for-2 with a double, an RBI, a run scored, and two walks.
Sidney Lewis (Smithmill, PA/Moshannon Valley) improved her season record to 10-4 with a complete game win. In seven innings, she gave up just one earned run one eight hits and a walk while recording three strikeouts.
Penn State Altoona got out to a strong start by plating four runs in the top of the first. Marasti's RBI double down the left field line opened the scoring, and Lewis' RBI singles through the right side gave the visitors a two-run lead. Jayde Burge (Philipsburg, PA/Philipsburg-Osceola) drove in a run with her sacrifice fly to center, and an error allowed Lewis to score to make it 4-0
D'Youville (12-20, 9-9 AMCC) got on the board in the bottom of the second inning when Alexa Haberer doubled in a run to make it 4-1.
Miller's RBI groundout in the top of the fourth brought home a run for Penn State Altoona, but D'Youville scored three in the bottom half of the fourth to make it a one-run game. Brittaney Goodrich's RBI single to center and Haberer's run-scoring double preceded an RBI base hit from Mikaela Milleville that narrowed the Lady Lions' lead to 5-4.
Miller collected another RBI in the top of the sixth, when her run-scoring base hit to center increased Penn State Altoona's lead to 6-4.
D'Youville threatened to tie the score in the bottom of the seventh. Megan Meyer's sac fly to left field cut Penn State Altoona's advantage to 6-5, but with the potential tying run on base, the Lady Lions got the final two outs to get out of the inning.
Game Two: D'Youville 13, Penn State Altoona 1 (Final/5 innings)
The Lady Lions yielded an early lead to D'Youville, and the home team never looked back, earning a run-rule win in five innings.
Ellie Leyo (Irvona, PA/Glendale) had two of Penn State Altoona's five hits, going 2-for-2 with a run scored. Haley Giedroc (Howard, PA/Bald Eagle) went 1-for-2 with an RBI, and Showers and Marasti each finished 1-for-3.
D'Youville put two runs on the board in the bottom of the first on Haberer's RBI double and Goodrich's sac fly to left. They doubled their lead in the second, getting an RBI double from Ashley Carney and sac fly from Haberer.
Penn State Altoona plated a run in the top of the third on Giedroc's RBI base hit to right, but D'Youville came back with a six-run bottom of the third before scoring three more runs in the fourth.
Lady Lions softball will now await the conclusion of the AMCC regular season schedule and hope for a spot in the conference's postseason tournament.