Day two of the AMCC softball championship is always a marathon, today was no exception.
Three of five scheduled games went to extra innings, resulting in the fifth and final game of the day--Penn St. Behrend vs. Franciscan--being rescheduled for 9am Sunday.
With thick Lake Erie fog hovering overhead, the opening game was the first contest to go past seven innings, with #5 D’Youville prevailing over #3 Pitt-Bradford, 6-4.
D’Youville jumped out to a 3-0 lead but by the third inning the Panthers had tied it up and the score remained 3-3 through regulation. D’Youville staged a two-out rally in the eighth, scoring three. The Panthers tried to match them with a comeback of their own but managed to touch home just once.
The Spartans had a standout day at the plate, smacking two doubles and two triples on 12 hits, but stranded 10 runners. UPB had their share of scoring opportunities as well, with 12 runners left on base, including a bases-loaded chance in the sixth inning. 3B Riley Russo led the way for the winners with 3 hits, 2 RBI and 1 run scored, while pitcher Alexa Haberer got her ninth positive decision of the season. Betty Fratercangelo was a defensive force at third base for the Panthers. She figured in to all three UPB runs, recording 2 runs scored and an RBI while going 2-2 at the plate. Teammate Maddy Hillery also stepped up with 2 hits and an RBI.
Game 2 featured both Penn State squads fighting to stay alive at either end of the seeding spectrum. #1 Behrend rolled past #6 Altoona, 9-0, in a run-rule shortened 5 innings. 1B Kristen Kargol, 3B Alyana Derzak and PH Kylee Bundy all contributed a pair of RBI to fuel the offense, while AJ Nichols raised her record to 16-3 in the one-hit shutout.
In game foiur, Behrend and D'Youville met for the third time this season. The two teams split wins in their regular season doubleheader and the tournament clash was just as tightly contested. They exchanged runs in the early going, with the Lions striking first in the first inning and the Spartans responding in kind in the second. It stayed that way through eight and a half innings, when Carson Hauser got on base with a single, advanced to second on a steal and then went to third on a sacrifice bunt by Katie Gozzard. Hauser made a lightning fast dash home to score on a perfectly dropped bunt by AJ Nichols to secure a 2-1 victory. Nichols also got the win in the circle, her 17th of the season.
Tthere was not enough daylight remaining in the overcast sky to ensure completion of the fifth and final game of the day. The championship game will follow, and if needed, a tiebreak game will be played immediately following the conclusion of the first championship game.
The winner will receive the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III tournament.