By: Matylda Zamudio
MONACA, Pa. – The Penn State Beaver women's softball team defeated PSUAC rival Penn State Mont Alto in the team's first conference games of the season during Saturday's doubleheader.
Game one started off scoreless until the bottom of the third with senior Brittany Garza (La Feria) stealing second base and then was batted in by freshman Taylor Johnson (San Antonio/ East Central), who doubled on the play, giving Beaver its first run (1-0). Taylor Johnson then scored the Lady Lion's second run after senior Vanessa Jackson (Snohomish) advanced her home on an error by Mont Alto's right fielder and finish the inning with a 2-0 lead. The Lady Lions kept the offensive push going in the bottom of the fourth, with Beaver putting up another four runs on the scoreboard: The fourth run came thanks to freshman Tyler Johnson (San Antonio/East Central) flying out to center field to drive Taylor Johnson straight home (4-0). The game reached its conclusion in the fifth inning, with the defense halting Mont Alto's attempt to land on the board followed by the Lady Lions earning three final runs to finish (9-0) in game one.
On the mound for Beaver during game one was Jackson (5-1), who pitched a complete game and scored her fifth win of the season. Jackson didn't allow a single hit by Mont Alto and struck out six of the 17 batters she faced.
Beaver had another powerhouse performance against the conference rivals in game two, after an early run in the first and making five more runs in the third to Mont Alto's three propelled the Lady Lions to a 6-3 advantage heading into the fourth. But the tables turned on the Lady Lions in the top of the fourth, as Mont Alto's offense had a four-run inning to take a 7-6 lead over Beaver. But Mont Alto's lead didn't last long, as Lady Lions played their most dominant inning of the day in the bottom of the fourth which began with Taylor Johnson stealing second and then was singled-in. by her sister Tyler Johnson to tie the game at 7-7. Freshman Michelle Cisco (Churchville/C. Milton Wright) went up to bat next and hit a home-run to push Beaver back on top at 9-7. Beaver then loaded its bases twice over, which prompted two more runs from junior Jessica Hughes (Hopewell) and senior Brenna Cepull (Monaca/Central Valley) to bring the score to 11-7. Taylor Johnson, who went up to bat next, tripled-in Mattson, junior Lacey Weible (Hookstown/South Side) and Cable (14-7), which she then followed up with a run of her own to wrap the inning (15-7). While Mont Alto managed to add three more runs on its side of the board in the final inning, it wasn't enough to overcome the deficit, and the Lady Lions won game two 19-10.
Cisco led the offense in game two, going 3 for 4 at bat and earned 4 RBIs followed by Taylor Johnson, who was 1 for 1 while racking up 3 RBIs.
At the mound for Beaver in game two was Junior Jessica Hughes (Hopewell), who pitched 3.2 innings, got the win after leaving Beaver with the lead. Freshman Haley Velemirovich (Freedom) got the save for Beaver after regaining the lead in game two.
After today's doubleheader against Mont Alto, Beaver is now 10-4 overall for the season and 2-0 in the conference.
The Lady Lions will face Penn State Mont Alto again on its home-field tomorrow for another PSUAC doubleheader, Mar. 24. Game one is at 2:30 p.m. followed by game two at 4:30 p.m.