ERIE, Pa. – In their 2018 home opener, the Penn State Behrend softball team posted a pair of wins over Hilbert in Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) action on Wednesday afternoon.
The Lions (17-7, 6-2 AMCC) earned a 5-0 game-one victory and then edged the Hawks (6-10, 0-4 AMCC) 7-4 in the nightcap to record to extend their winning streak to six straight contests. Carson Hauser (Westfield, NY/Westfield Academy) and Mackenzie McIntire (Stoneboro, PA/Lakeview) each registered four hits on the day.
In the opener, Behrend plated three runs in the first and two in the third while keeping Hilbert off the board for the shutout. AJ Nichols (Pittsburgh, PA/Shaler) started in the circle and captured her ninth win to go with five strikeouts, while Alexa Bupp (Warren, PA/Warren) pitched the final two innings and fanned four.
Katie Gozzard (Pittsburgh, PA/Deer Lakes), the current AMCC Player of the Week, knocked in Hauser in the bottom of the first with a single up the middle for a 1-0 lead. Two unearned runs were scored on a single to left field by Kristen Kargol (Saegertown, PA/Cambridge Springs) for a quick three-run lead.
In the third, Bupp walked to lead off and then scored on a double to left center by Nichols to make it 4-0. Nichols got to third on a passed ball and then scored on an error to complete the scoring the Lions.
The Hawks managed just two hits in game one and added five more in game two while scoring four runs after being held scoreless in the opener.
The combination of hurlers Brittney Williams (Atlantic, PA/Conneaut Lake) and Bupp helped Behrend complete the sweep in game two. Williams started and pitched 5.2 innings and Bupp earned her second save of the season.
Hilbert got on the board first, yet did not earn any runs until the top of the sixth inning.
The Lions tallied 11 hits in game two, including four in the first inning that generated three runs. All in the same play, Hauser tripled and then stole home to make it 1-all. With runners on second and third base and two outs showing, Kargol singled to score Nichols and Bupp for a 3-1 lead.
After the fourth inning, Behrend grabbed a 6-2 lead. Hilbert got a run and the Lions countered with two in the bottom of the frame. McIntire had an RBI single to score Gozzard, before an error got Nichols home. Gozzard then had an RBI single in the fifth to make it 7-2.
Hauser and Kargol each went 2-for-4 in game two.
Behrend returns to action tomorrow at home against Pitt-Bradford. The doubleheader begins at 1 p.m.