BETHANY, WV – The Penn State Behrend softball team posted a 2-1 (eight inning) victory in game one and then earned a 6-4 decision in the nightcap to sweep Bethany in a non-conference doubleheader on Tuesday.
AJ Nichols (Pittsburgh, PA/Shaler) recorded the game-winning hit and got the win in the circle in game one for the Lions (15-7) while Carson Hauser (Westfield, NY/Westfield Academy) scored both runs and smacked a pair of hits in the extra-inning victory.
Nichols continues to shut down opponents, only allowing two hits and no earned runs while striking out nine for her eighth win of the season.
The Bison (8-10) managed the first hit of the game for either team in the fourth and then got on the board first in the fifth inning on an error with no outs. Behrend got the force out at home and then Nichols struck out Jazz Fuqua and Erica Amoroso to get out of the inning.
The Lions evened the score in the top of the sixth. Hauser did it all with a single and getting to third on an error. She then got home on a wild pitch to make it 1-all. In extra eighth inning, Hauser doubled down left-field line and got to third on a sacrifice by Katie Gozzard (Pittsburgh, PA/Deer Lakes). With two outs showing, Nichols singled to the same spot as Hauser to get her off third and home for the game-winning run.
Nichols got her ninth strikeout and forced a foul out and ground out to end the bottom of the eighth for Bethany to secure the one-run win.
In game two, Behrend scored two runs in the first and four in the third while smacking 16 hits total to sweep the Bison. Hauser went 3-for-5 and Nichols added two more hits. Hurler Brittney Williams (Atlantic, PA/Conneaut Lake) picked up the win and Alexa Bupp (Warren, PA/Warren) got the save in the seventh.
It took the Lions five hits to score two runs in the first to take the early lead. Gozzard singled and scored on a single by Nichols. A double by Mackenzie McIntire (Stoneboro, PA/Lakeview) scored Nichols to make it 2-0.
Bethany did better in the bottom of the frame with three runs on three hits to take a one-run lead.
Like the first inning, Behrend added runs in the third with two outs showing. The Lions had three RBI singles to score four runs for a 6-2 advantage.
The Bison threatened in the seventh with a run but Bupp relieved Williams and struck out the final batter to leave two runners on for the win.
Behrend returns to action tomorrow at home against Hilbert. The doubleheader begins at 3 p.m.