Banta Hits Walk-Off Homer; Lions Win 13 In A Row

Banta Hits Walk-Off Homer; Lions Win 13 In A Row

ERIE, Pa. – Allania Banta (Waterford, PA/Fort LeBoeuf) hit a two-run walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth to help the Penn State Behrend softball team defeat Medaille 6-4 in game one of an Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) doubleheader on Tuesday. The Lions picked up the sweep with a 13-0 win in the nightcap.

Behrend (19-11, 11-1 AMCC) erased a four-run deficit with a four-run sixth inning in the opener to tie the game and then rely on Banta's fifth long ball of the season in the ninth to keep the win streak going.

In game two, the Lions sent 17 players to the plate in the first inning to score 12 runs on 10 hits that included three triples, three doubles and three singles.

The first game started out to be a pitchers dual with four scoreless innings. The Mavericks (16-14, 5-5 AMCC) got on the scoreboard first with four runs on four hits in the fifth. After getting the first run on a sacrifice fly, Medaille added three more runs with two outs for a 4-0 lead.

The Mavericks hurler Laura Kratzke helped keep Behrend off the board with five straight innings of three and out until the bottom of the sixth.

The Lions returned the favor with four runs in the sixth. Carson Hauser (Westfield, NY/Westfield Academy) walked with bases loaded to score Lacey Hilderbrand (Pittsburgh, PA/North Allegheny). AJ Nichols (Pittsburgh, PA/Shaler) registered a two RBI single and a third run scored to even the game at 4-all. With just one out, Nichols was stranded on third to head into the seventh frame.

In the eighth, Behrend had bases loaded with two outs and could not get Nichols off third again. The Lions had one more chance before the international tiebreaker rules went into effect in the 10th inning.

Jillian Willians (Corry, PA/Corry) walked for a runner on first and Banta sent the ball over left field for the walk-off win in the bottom of the ninth.

Rachel Miller (North East, PA/North East) began in the circle and Alexa Bupp (Warren, PA/Warren) worked Behrend through the final four innings for the win.

Kelsey Heinrich (Brookville, PA/Brookville), Nichols and Kristen Kargol (Saegertown, PA/Cambridge Springs) each smacked three hits in game two. Nichols allowed two hits in the five-inning shutout in the circle.

In addition to the 12 runs in the first inning, Kargol doubled in the third to score Katie Gozzard (Pittsburgh, PA/Deer Lakes) to make it 13-0.

The Lions return to action on Saturday at Penn State Altoona. The doubleheader begins at 1 p.m.