Roaring Lions Playoff Hopes Dashed with Sweep by Penn State Hazleton

April 21, 2012

 


DRIFTON, Pa. - Penn State Fayette softball went into Saturday's doubleheader at Penn State Hazleton in need of at least a split to remain in the Pennsylvania State University Athletic Conference playoff hunt.

 

It was not to be.

 

The Roaring Lions fell short, as Hazleton erased a 4-0 first inning deficit in game two en route to an 8-5 win, only a few short hours after taking game one, 4-3.

 

Fayette (11-15, 7-7 PSUAC) needed at least three wins over the weekend to guarantee a spot in the playoffs for the first time in seven years, but Hazleton dashed the Roaring Lions' hopes and instead grabbed the no. 4 seed for themselves in the PSUAC Tournament.

 

GAME ONE: Penn State Hazleton 4, Penn State Fayette 3

Hazleton grabbed a quick 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, as a two-out rally helped the Lady Lions touch-up freshman Moriah Kromer (Mount Pleasant, Pa.) early in the first game.

 

Ashley Bubula and Ashley Barron each notched RBI singles for Hazleton in the first, although the runs were unearned after a Fayette throwing error put runners in scoring position.

 

Fayette answered in the top half of the second, as sophomore Stephanie Longo (Point Marion, Pa.) drew a lead-off walk and scored on an error. Senior Elizabeth D'Auria (Connellsville, Pa.) reached on an error, and after stealing second, advanced to third on a passed ball. Sophomore Paige McWilliams (Connellsville, Pa.) grounded out, but D'Auria was able to score to tie the game at 2-2.

 

The game remained knotted at 2-2 through the fifth, as neither team was able to advance a runner beyond second base.

 

But Bubula and Barron did more damage with one out in the sixth. Bubula doubled and Barron followed with a two-run home run to give Hazleton a 4-2 lead.

 

Fayette plated a run in the seventh, as D'Auria reached after being hit by a pitch, and came around to score on after a two-base error later in the inning. But Hazleton held off the Fayette threat, and starting pitcher Emily Roat took the win with seven innings pitched, giving up three runs on three hits while striking out seven.

 

Kromer dropped to 5-7 on the season, going six innings and giving up four runs, two earned, on seven hits, while striking out six. Kromer added one of Fayette's singles, while Longo and freshman Kaytee Cumberland (Leisenring, Pa.) added a double and single, respectively.

 

Bubula and Barron each finished 2-for-3 and accounted for all four of Hazleton's RBIs.

 

GAME TWO: Penn State Hazleton 8, Penn State Fayette 5

Fayette jumped out to a 4-0 lead after the top of the first in a must-win game. A loss ended all hopes of advancing to the PSUAC Tournament, and the Roaring Lions' start gave them a chance.

 

Freshman Shelby Dziak (Eighty Four, Pa.) and Kromer each cracked singles and freshman Jessica Stairs (Mount Pleasant, Pa.) hit a sacrifice fly to left to give Fayette a 1-0 advantage. Longo added a two-out RBI single, and after stealing second, scored on D'Auria's single. D'Auria then stole second and scored on throwing errors to give Fayette a 4-0 lead.

 

Hazleton clawed back in over the next three innings while holding Fayette scoreless in the second and third, before grabbing the lead in the bottom of the third.

 

Krystin Baker scored on an error in the first to get the Lions on the board, and Tesa Johns hit a three-run home run off of Stairs in the second to tie the score at 4-4. Hazleton took the lead in the third, scoring on an error with two outs to take their first lead of the game at 5-4.

 

That lead is all they would need, as Fayette continued to struggle at the plate, going down in order in both the fourth and fifth before sending only four batters to the plate in the sixth.

 

Ariel Kravetsky added an RBI double in the fifth, and Johns hit a double that scored two runs for an 8-4 Hazleton lead.

 

Fayette was able to push across one run in the seventh, but it was not enough for the Roaring Lions.

 

Stairs gave up 11 hits in six innings, surrendering eight runs, six earned, in the loss. Stairs struck out five and walked three to fall to 3-3 on the season.

 

Longo and D'Auria both went 1-for-3 for Fayette, each scoring a run and adding an RBI.

 

Kristin Parker earned the win for Hazleton, walking none and giving up five runs on six hits during her complete game performance. Baker, Barron and Johns all had two hits for Hazleton, while Alyssa Rodzewich also added two hits. Johns did a bulk of the damage with five RBIs.

 

Fayette faces Penn State Scranton on Sunday, April 22 at 11:00 a.m. to conclude their season.