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Softball Splits Monday Games in Florida

Softball Splits Monday Games in Florida




3/6/2017 — KISSIMMEE, Fla. - In Monday's action in the Central Florida Rebel Spring Games, the Penn State Altoona softball team earned a 1-0 extra innings win over Montclair State University before losing 5-0 to Penn State Berks at the Osceola County Softball Complex.

In game one, Penn State Altoona's (2-4) bats heated up significantly from yesterday's games, but the Lady Lions struggled to capitalize with runners on base. The team finished the game with 10 hits but left 14 runners on base.

"We got back to playing PSU Altoona softball in our game against Montclair State," said Penn State Altoona head coach Joe Merilli. "Kate Burge proved that she can pitch against and that we can play against any quality team in the country. I know we hit the ball much better today, even though it did not show up on the scoreboard. We left a small village on the bases today, but that too will change as we keep playing this week."

However, the Lady Lions were aided by strong pitching and defense to keep them in the game. Kate Burge (Philipsburg, PA/Philipsburg-Osceola) pitched a complete game shutout for the Lady Lions in game one, tying for the Penn State Altoona softball all-time record for shutouts with 12. Burge pitched eight innings and struck out six batters while allowing only four hits and three walks.

Abby Showers (Philipsburg, PA/Philipsburg-Osceola) batted 3-for-3 for Penn State Altoona. Jenna Myers (Garnet Valley, PA/Garnet Valley) was 2-for-4 with a run scored, and Kelsey Bristol (Troy, PA/Troy) hit 2-for-5. Lauren O'Donnell (Beccaria, PA/Moshannon Valley) drove in the game-winning run in the top of the eighth inning with a triple.

Montclair State (2-2) worked out of jams throughout the game, but Penn State Altoona finally broke through for the game's only run in extra innings.

In the top of the eighth inning, Myers was placed on second base when the international tiebreaker rule came into effect. After Myers moved up to third on a Jessica Willits (Jersey Shore, PA/Jersey Shore) bunt, O'Donnell came through with the clutch hit when she lined a pitch to deep left field and raced to third, scoring Myers along the way.

Penn State Altoona got out of trouble in the bottom half of the eighth to win the game. With a runners at second and third and one out, Burge induced a game-ending line drive double play. Bristol snagged the lineout in center field and threw on to second base to double off the runner and end the game.

The Lady Lions were handed a 5-0 setback in game two to Penn State Berks (2-2).

Burge was handed the loss for the Lady Lions, going 2 1/3 innings and allowing one earned run. Morgan Brumbaugh (James Creek, PA/Tussey Mountain) added 4 2/3 scoreless innings in relief with two strikeouts.

Haley Giedroc (Howard, PA/Bald Eagle) went 2-for-4 to lead Penn State Altoona at the plate, while Bristol and Brumbaugh had one hit each.

Berks scored all five of its runs in the top of the third inning. Jenna Heffner's two-run triple opened the scoring before Ashley Malek's RBI base hit made it 3-0. Later in the inning, Becca Faust's two-run single put Berks ahead 5-0.

After a day off on Tuesday, Penn State Altoona will return to the field on Wednesday, March 8 at the Osceola County Softball Complex. The Lady Lions will face Kean University at 9:00 a.m. before taking on Aurora University at 11:15 a.m.

Photo: Penn State Altoona senior pitcher Kate Burge throws during the Lady Lions' 1-0 win over Montclair State University on Monday at the Osceola County Softball Complex.

TAGS: women's softball