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Lady Lions Softball Splits Doubleheader With Juniata

Lady Lions Softball Splits Doubleheader With Juniata





4/18/2017 — ALTOONA, Pa. - Penn State Altoona softball hosted non-conference opponent Juniata College on Tuesday afternoon for a pair of games at Stewart Athletic Field, and the Lady Lions prevailed 9-1 in game one before dropping game two 11-0.

"In the first game, I thought we played our type of game. We hit well. After the first time through the lineup, everybody seemed to catch up and pound the ball pretty well," said Penn State Altoona head coach Joe Merilli. "Haley Giedroc got us going with a big home run, and after that, the hitting was contagious for the rest of the lineup. We also again got good defense and pitching, along with the timely hitting after we got going."

For Penn State Altoona (15-13), the bats were quiet early in game one before the Lady Lions exploded to score nine runs in the final three innings. The team won in six innings, via the eight run rule.

Haley Giedroc (Howard, PA/Bald Eagle) went 3-for-3 with a solo home run, three runs scored, and two stolen bases. Kate Burge (Philipsburg, PA/Philipsburg-Osceola) was 2-for-3 with a double, three runs batted in, and one run scored. Julia Helbling (Perkasie, PA/Pennridge) went 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored.

Burge pitched a complete game win in the circle, moving her season record to 13-5. In six innings, she allowed only four hits, one run, and three walks while recording four strikeouts.

Juniata (14-18) scored first, plating a run in the top of the first inning on Alyssa Shedlock's RBI single to center. But Burge and the Lady Lions locked down from there on out, putting up zeroes in the next five innings.

Meanwhile, the Penn State Altoona offense went to work and finally broke through in the bottom of the fourth inning. Giedroc led off the frame with a home run to left field, and Burge's RBI double to left put the Lady Lions up 2-1.

Penn State Altoona added to its lead in the fifth. Burge's RBI single to left-center got the scoring started in the inning, and a dropped pop fly on the infield allowed another run to score. Helbling followed with an RBI hit to right, and after an outfield error let another run come across, Jessica Willits' (Jersey Shore, PA/Jersey Shore) RBI single up the middle made it 7-1.

The Lady Lions scored two more runs in the sixth to end the game one inning early. Burge drew a bases loaded walk to bring in one run, and Helbling's RBI single to left made it 9-1.

In game two, Juniata returned the favor to Penn State Altoona, run ruling the Lady Lions in five innings.

"In the second game, we got to look at a lot of younger players. We played a lot of kids who don't normally get in, and I thought some of them did perform well," said Merilli. "Since it was a non-conference doubleheader, we wanted to try and give some players some more experience in the second game."

Abby Showers (Philipsburg, PA/Philipsburg-Osceola) had two of Penn State Altoona's four hits in game two, going 2-for-3. Brayley Lewis (Roaring Spring, PA/Bishop Guilfoyle) was 1-for-2, and Giedroc was 1-for-3.

For the second game in a row, Shedlock plated Juniata's first run with an RBI single in the top of the first inning. Abby Ebright's RBI hit to center made it 2-0, and she scored on a wild pitch to give the Eagles a three-run lead.

Shedlock's two-run triple to right and Ebright's RBI single to shortstop doubled Juniata's lead in the second inning. In the third, Allie Baney's two RBI double to shallow right field and Molly Ulrich's RBI hit to center made it 9-0.

In the fifth, Ulrich drove in two more runs with her triple to right-center.

Penn State Altoona softball returns to Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference play this Saturday, April 22, hosting Penn State Behrend for a 1:00 p.m. doubleheader at Stewart Athletic Field. The games have been marked as the AMCC's Games of the Week, as the date features a matchup of the top two teams in the conference standings.

Saturday's games also represent Penn State Altoona softball's Senior Day celebration.

Photo: Penn State Altoona freshman Sidney Shultz pitches during game two of Tuesday's doubleheader against Juniata College at Stewart Athletic Field.

TAGS: women's softball