ALFRED, NY – Allania Banta (Waterford, PA/Fort LeBoeuf) combined for four hits including a home run, while Alexa Bupp (Warren, PA/Warren) picked up two saves to help the Penn State Behrend softball team past Alfred in a non-conference doubleheader on Tuesday.
The Lions (13-11) swept the Saxons (13-10) with a 6-3 victory in game one and then finished with an 8-4 victory in the nightcap. Behrend posted 10 hits in both game, getting multiple hits from Banta and Shannon McDonnell (Fayston, VT/Harwood Union) in each contest.
In the opener, Behrend only need the first and third innings to record the runs they needed to defeat the Saxons. The Lions got on the board with two runs in the first frame. AJ Nichols (Pittsburgh, PA/Shaler) smacked her first triple of the season to knock in Banta off second. Nichols then scored on a single by Shannon McDonnell (Fayston, VT/Harwood Union) for a 2-0 lead.
The two teams combined for seven runs in the third and would not score again the rest of the game. For the Lions, Banta registered her second homer of the season to lead off the top of the third to make it 3-0. Behrend tallied four more hits and three more runs for a 6-0 advantage. McDonnell posted her second RBI single and Kristen Kargol (Saegertown, PA/Cambridge Springs) had her hit bring home McDonnell and Bupp.
Alfred had three extra-base hits in the bottom of the third, including a return home run, and scored all three runs with no outs showing.
Rachel Miller (North East, PA/North East) earned her sixth win in game one, allowing three runs on six hits and striking out three. Bupp finished the seventh inning for the save, striking out the two batters she faced.
Similar to the first game, the Lions came out aggressive in the first inning to score three runs. Banta singled and stole second before scoring on a ground out by Nichols. Bupp, McDonnell, and Katie Gozzard (Pittsburgh, PA/Deer Lakes) loaded the bases for Kargol, who hit a two RBI single to make it 3-0.
The Saxons got within one with a run in the first and another in the second.
Three hits in the top of the fourth got the Lions out in front by three runs again at 5-2. A wild pitch in the fifth allowed Gozzard to score, while Alfred cut the lead to by two with a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame.
Behrend had the final say in the sixth, adding two unearned yet insurance runs on McDonnell's two RBI single for the final margin.
Nichols was the winning pitcher in game two and Bupp gave relief for the final three innings for the save.
The Lions return to action tomorrow at Hilbert. Game times are 3 and 5 p.m.