March 31, 2012
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – Penn State Fayette softball scored six runs in the final two innings in the first of two games against Penn College as they earned a 9-6 comeback victory before invoking the mercy rule in game two, pounding the Wildcats 13-0 in five innings, in Pennsylvania State University Athletic Conference action Saturday afternoon at Elm Park.
The Roaring Lions (4-8, 2-0 PSUAC) swept Penn College for the first time in program history and snaps an eight-game slide with the wins. The Roaring Lions split with Penn College last season.
Fayette scored in bunches on Saturday, using innings of four, four and nine runs between the two games to cap the wins. The nine runs marks the most Fayette has scored in a single inning this season, eclipsing their previous mark of eight which they did twice against CCAC South in the second game of a doubleheader to open the season.
GAME ONE—Penn State Fayette—9, Penn College—6 (8 innings)
Freshman Katie Volek (Smithfield, Pa.) struggled early on the mound, allowing six runs in the first three innings, but settled in and shut down the Wildcats offense over the final five frames as Fayette won 9-6 in extra innings . Volek finished with three strikeouts over eight innings, giving up six runs on 12 hits to earn the win.
Much like their pitcher, Fayette's bats struggled early, managing only four singles over the first five frames. But the Fayette bats got hot in the top of the sixth. With two outs and no runners on base, freshman Jessica Stairs (Mount Pleasant, Pa.) singled to right field before sophomore Stephanie Longo (Point Marion, Pa.) doubled to right-center. Senior Elizabeth D'Auria (Connellsville, Pa.) and freshman Kaytee Cumberland (Connellsville, Pa.) added RBI singles to make it 6-2, but Fayette was not done. Freshman Moriah Kromer (Mount Pleasant, Pa.) tripled to left to plate two more, and left Fayette down 6-4.
Volek set the Wildcats down in order in the bottom of the sixth, and the Roaring Lions went back to work on offense. Freshman Stacey Riggar (Uniontown, Pa.) walked to lead off the seventh and Volek walked. An error left the bases loaded for Longo, who cracked a two-RBI single to knot the score at 6-6.
Volek, who allowed only one baserunner past first base in her final four innings of work, held Penn College scoreless in the seventh and the Roaring Lions took advantage in extra innings. Kromer led off with an infield single and eventually scored on a fielder's choice by Volek. Sophomore Paige McWilliams (Connellsville, Pa.) added an RBI groundout before Stairs singled home Fayette's final run for a 9-6 lead. Three Wildcats reached base in the bottom of the eighth, but none advanced past first as Fayette escaped game one with a win.
Volek went 2-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored, while Longo added three hits and two RBIs. Stairs and Kromer each had two hits for the Roaring Lions, while Kromer knocked in two runs and scored one.
GAME TWO—Penn State Fayette—13, Penn College—0 (5 innings)
The Fayette bats picked up in game two where they left off in game one, as the Roaring Lions gave starting pitcher Kromer four runs in the third and nine in the fifth. Kromer earned the first shutout of her collegiate career, striking out two while giving up only five hits.
The Roaring Lions opened up the scoring in the third with four runs, as freshman Shelby Dziak (Eighty Four, Pa.) singled home Kromer and Volek added a three-run inside-the-park-homerun to make it 4-0. After a scoreless fourth, Fayette rallied for a nine run fifth, plating enough to invoke the mercy rule after Kromer held the Wildcats scoreless in the home half of the inning.
Dziak and Riggar walked to lead off the Fayette fifth, and Volek singled to load the bases, and Dziak scored on an error. Stairs added the first home run of her collegiate career next, another three-run inside-the-park-homerun to give Fayette an 8-0 advantage. Sophomore Samantha Virgillo (Connellsville, Pa.) followed two Penn College errors with a two-run triple, the first of her career, and after a Kromer walk, Dziak singled to center to plate Virgillo. Riggar added an RBI groundout and Volek plated Fayette's final run with an infield single to make it 13-0.
Dziak and Volek each finished with three hits, and drove in two and four runs, respectively, in game two. Stairs finished with three RBIs and Dziak scored three runs for the Roaring Lions.
Fayette returns to the diamond on Sunday, April 1 at 2:00 p.m. when they battle Valley Forge Christian College in non-conference action in Phoenixville, Pa. The two teams have never met.