ERIE, Pa. – The top-seeded Penn State Behrend softball team defeated No. 5 Penn State Altoona 1-0 and then fell to No. 3 Mt. Aloysius 3-2 (8) to split on day two of the 2018 Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) Championships on Saturday.
The Lions (29-11) will fight to stay alive in hopes of their fourth straight conference title tomorrow. Behrend will face No. 2 Medaille in an elimination game tomorrow at 10 a.m. The winner will battle No. 3 Mt. Aloysius in the championship at 12 p.m.
Carson Hauser (Westfield, NY/Westfield Academy) and Mackenzie McIntire (Stoneboro, PA/Lakeview) each tallied three hits on the day, while AJ Nichols (Pittsburgh, PA/Shaler) picked up win number 16 in game one and Alexa Bupp (Warren, PA/Warren) earned her seventh save.
The Lions got on the board in the bottom of the first frame against Altoona and then held the Lions scoreless over the next six innings. Hauser, who smacked two triples on the day, got her first three bagger to center field and then scored on a sacrifice bunt by Katie Gozzard (Pittsburgh, PA/Deer Lakes) for the game-winning run.
Nichols and Bupp held Altoona to just three hits. Nichols struck out seven of the 18 batters faced in five innings of work.
In game two, Mt. Aloysius used four hits to score one run in the top of the eighth inning to remain undefeated in the tournament and in the winners bracket.
Hauser, McIntire, Bupp and Kristen Kargol (Saegertown, PA/Cambridge Springs) each tallied two hits, while Bupp suffered the loss in the circle. Bupp entered the game on two occasions and gave up the final two runs in the last two innings for her first loss.
The Mounties grabbed a quick 1-0 lead with two outs in the first inning on an RBI single by Kayla Hopkins to score Courtney Link. The Lions responded with a run in the bottom of the frame to knot it at 1-all. Hauser got on base and advanced to second on an error. Gozzard got her to third with another sacrifice bunt and Hauser scored with a ground out by McIntire.
Neither team would strike again until the sixth. McIntire started the inning with a double and then scored on a single by Bupp for a 2-1 advantage.
Facing its first loss, Mt. Aloysius managed to get the tying run in the seventh with one out showing with an RBI double to left center. The Lions came up empty in the bottom of the frame to send the game into extra innings.
Behrend escaped the eighth with just one run with bases loaded and one out. Nichols came in to pitch for Bupp with two runners on. Kate Little scored on the game-winning RBI single by Lydia Defazio, before Nichols got the final two outs.
The Lions got two hits in the eighth and got runners on the corners but could not get them home.
Behrend returns to action tomorrow against Medaille at 10 a.m.