ERIE, Pa. – The Penn State Behrend softball team are the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) Runners-Up, falling to No. 3 Mt. Aloysius 6-3 in the AMCC Championship game on Sunday afternoon.
The Lions (30-12), the AMCC Regular-Season Champions, defeated Medaille in an elimination game 1-0 to start the day and needed to defeat the Mounties twice to keep the crown. Mt. Aloysius won their first AMCC Championship with a five-run second inning and held on for a three-run victory.
Behrend's AJ Nichols (Pittsburgh, PA/Shaler), Carson Hauser (Westfield, NY/Westfield) and Mackenzie McIntire (Stoneboro, PA/Lakeview) were selected to the All-Tournament Team for their efforts over the three-day tournament.
In the championship game, the Lions took a 2-0 lead after their first two at-bats. McIntire smacked her fourth home run of the season over the left field fence with two outs for a quick advantage. In the top of the second, Alexa Bupp (Warren, PA/Warren) reached on an error and then came home on a single by Jillian Williams (Corry, PA/Corry).
The Mounties used four hits and two errors to plate five runs to turn the game around at 5-2. Behrend added another run with bases loaded in the third to score Katie Gozzard (Pittsburgh, PA/Deer Lakes) on a sacrifice fly from Bupp to make it 5-3.
From there, Behrend only got two more hits while Mt. Aloysius plated another in the sixth for the final run and margin.
Nichols gave up just one earned run on four hits for the loss in the title game. Williams pitched 4.2 innings of relief and gave up an earned run.
The Lions stayed alive in the tournament with a 1-0 win in game two against No. 2 Medaille. Both teams recorded three hits apiece in the pitchers dual. Nichols earned her 17th win and fanned seven, while Laura Kratzke threw six innings, striking out eight for the loss.
Behrend got the only run of the game in the bottom of the first. Hauser walked and then stole second, before advancing to third on an error. Gozzard got her to the plate with a sacrifice bunt to make it 1-0.
The Mavericks threatened in the sixth with runners on the corners but Bupp came in relief to get the Lions out of the inning and keep Medaille off the scoreboard. Bupp earned her eighth save of the season by getting three straight outs in the seventh to help the Lions advance to the championship game.
Behrend will await a bid to the 2018 ECAC Softball Tournament.