ERIE, Pa. – Julie Heinl (Pittsburgh, PA/North Allegheny) pitched a shutout in game one, while the Penn State Behrend softball team relied on extra-base hits in the nightcap to sweep Thiel in a non-conference doubleheader on Sunday afternoon.
Playing for the first time in 16 days, the Lions (5-7) relied on Heinl for a 6-0 victory and then rallied for a 4-2 win in their home opener to defeat the Tomcats (3-9) for a 12th consecutive time since 2006.
Kelsey Fuller (Albion, PA/Northwestern) went 2-for-4 in game one, getting the first two hits for Behrend before the Lions erupted for five hits and six runs all in the fifth inning. With bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth, Fuller reached on a fielder's choice to get Sydney Sherrieb (Washington, PA/Trinity) home for the first run.
Ashley Gruber (Burton, OH/Berkshire) had an two RBI single to right field and Amy Greene (Erie, PA/Strong Vincent) smacked her first triple of the season to score two more for a 5-0 lead. Greene then scored on Callie Markovich's (Edinboro, PA/Northwestern) ground out to second for the six-run advantage.
Heinl threw a complete game and only allowed two hits for her second win on the hill, while a double play by Behrend in the second inning stopped Thiel's only chances of scoring in the first contest.
Thiel cracked the scoreboard first in game two, using Ashley Dolan's single to start the second inning and then getting the run on the Lions only error.
Behrend responded with two runs in the fourth for a 2-1 lead. Chelsi Riordan (Conneaut Lake, Pa/Linesville) walked and Gruber made the Lions first hit a long ball over the left-field fence for her second home run this year.
The Tomcats knotted the game at 2-all in the top of the sixth, but Greene doubled with two outs to score Fuller and then reached home on a single to left field by Markovich for a 4-2 edge.
Fuller improves to 3-1 on the mound after pitching seven innings and fanning one batter.
The Lions return to action tomorrow in the conference opener at Franciscan. Game one begins at 3:30 p.m.