#4 seed Franciscan University won twice on the opening day of the AMCC softball championship tournament, including their first ever program victory over #1 seed Penn St, Behrend.
The Lady Barons advanced to the winner's bracket along with #2 seed and defending champions Mount Aloysius College. The Mounties defeated #3 seed Pitt-Bradford earlier in the day.
The misty, overcast day began with the Panthers handling #6 Penn St. Altoona, 6-0. UPB shortstop Abby Carpenter and first base Liz Dzurisin contributed two RBI apiece and Jordan Uhing recorded her 14th win of the season from the circle to tame the Lions.
Game 2 was a tightly contested battle between Franciscan and #5 seed D'Youville, with the Lady Barons prevailing by 2-1. The squads traded runs in the first inning then let their defenses go to work until the fifth inning when FUS rightfielder Kathleen Thompson drove in second base Allyson Weiss. It was Weiss' second run scored of the day and provided the margin of victory necessary to move on to the winner's bracket.
UPB came back in Game 3 to take on Mount Aloysius. The game was scoreless through seven innings, and in the first overtime frame the Panthers looked on the verge of cracking it open when they loaded the bases but all were left stranded as the Mounties' defense stood firm. The Mounties' leftfielder Kayla Hopkins fuelled the victory with a pair of hits and scored the game-winniing run, with Kara Pisczek earning her seventh W of the season.
The final game of the first session saw the Lady Barons build a 3-0 lead only to see the Lions cut it to two. Franciscan padded their margin scoring twice in the fifth inining and adding another pair in the sixth, only to see Behrend stage a furious rally in the bottom of the seventh. The Lady Barons called it a day with a 7-5 win.
The championship is a double elimination tournament. Saturday's five-game schedule begins at 9am with Penn St. rivals Behend and Altoona facing off to keep their title hopes alive. The second elimination game of the day will feature #3 Pitt-Bradford vs. #5 D'Youville, followed by a battle of the undefeated, Mount Aloysius against Franciscan.
The championship game will be played Sunday at 11am. A tiebreak game will be played immediately after if the loss is the first for one of the two remaining teams.
The winner of the tournament will receive the AMCC's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III championship tournament.