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Softball Upsets Alvernia to Advance in ECAC Tournament

Softball Upsets Alvernia to Advance in ECAC Tournament

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TOURNAMENT CENTRAL

5/10/2017 — SCRANTON, Pa. - No. 6 Penn State Altoona softball earned a 5-1 victory over No. 3 Alvernia University in the opening game of the Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III Championship Tournament on Wednesday afternoon at Marywood University.

With the win, the Lady Lions (18-17) will advance to the next round of the tournament and are guaranteed at least two more games, as the bracket goes into double-elimination format. The next round is hosted by Arcadia University this Saturday, May 13 and Sunday, May 14.

Penn State Altoona will take on No. 2 Stockton University on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. The Lady Lions will play again later that day, regardless of a win or a loss.

"I thought the team played up to its abilities today and was focused on getting to the weekend," said Penn State Altoona head coach Joe Merilli. "Our execution and hustle on both sides of the ball were one of the best I have seen us all year. We are excited to be going to Arcadia this weekend, and we hope we can keep the intensity level high and bring home another ECAC title."

Kate Burge (Philipsburg, PA/Philipsburg-Osceola) led her team to a win on Wednesday with a big start in the circle, improving her season record to 16-8 in a complete game effort. In seven innings, she surrendered just five hits, one run, and one walk while striking out six.

Kelsey Bristol (Troy, PA/Troy) batted 3-for-3 with two runs scored. Haley Giedroc (Howard, PA/Bald Eagle) and Abby Showers (Philipsburg, PA/Philipsburg-Osceola) were each 2-for-4 with a run scored.

Penn State Altoona grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Bristol led off with a single to second base, moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt, and scored on a throwing error.

The Lady Lions added to their lead in the top of the fifth inning, putting four more runs on the board. Lauren O'Donnell (Beccaria, PA/Moshannon Valley) led off the inning with a bunt single and later came around to score on an error. Later, Burge helped her own cause by drawing a bases loaded walk to make it 3-0. An RBI single from Jessica Willits (Jersey Shore, PA/Jersey Shore) and a run-scoring groundout by Morgan Brumbaugh (James Creek, PA/Tussey Mountain) upped Penn State Altoona's lead to 5-0.

Alvernia (19-16) made some noise in the bottom of the seventh, breaking up the shutout and threatening a comeback. Bernadette Carey's RBI single to second put the Crusaders on the board. Alvernia proceeded to load the bases with one out, but Burge induced a lineout double play to end the game.


Photo (graphic courtesy of ECAC Communications): Penn State Altoona senior pitcher Kate Burge threw a complete game for the win over Alvernia University on Wednesday, striking out six batters in seven innings.

TAGS: women's softball