DUBOIS, Pa. - After rain forced games to be moved to the turf softball field at Heindl Memorial Field in DuBois for Sunday, four teams still have a chance at the start of the day to hoist the trophy and earn the right to be champions. Beaver, Brandywine, Fayette and Schuylkill entered the double elimination tournament with high hopes and championship expectations. Day one recaps are below.
Penn State Brandywine - 10, Penn State Fayette - 0 5 innings
The top three batters in Brandywine’s order dominated, combining to go 9-for-12 with six RBIs and eight runs scored as the Lions blanked Fayette 10-0 in five innings to advance in the winner’s bracket.
Arianna Segich went 2-for-4 with three runs scored while Rachel Cherubini went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and three runs scored. Alexa Anderson added two runs and three RBIs for Brandywine, going 4-for-4 including a home run. Katie DeStefano went five innings and scattered four hits while striking out seven.
Four Fayette players mustered a hit, but were unable to push across a run. Brandywine advances to face Beaver in the winner’s bracket while Fayette meets Schuylkill in the first elimination garment.
Penn State Beaver - 3, Penn State Schuylkill - 2
Penn State Beaver won a pitcher’s duel with Penn State Schuylkill as Vanessa Jackson topped Hannah Sell in the circle in a solid outing from both pitcher’s. Jackson helped her team advance in the winner’s bracket to face Brandywine, while Schuylkill will face Fayette in an elimination game.
Jessica Hughes smacked a two-run double in the first inning and Beaver would not relinquish the lead. Stephanie Killian hit a sac fly in the first, but another run from Beaver in the second gave them a 3-1 lead. Despite pushing across another run in the fourth, Schuylkill couldn’t solve Jackson to put together an extended rally. Both pitcher’s threw complete game six hitters, with Jackson striking out eight.
Penn State Schuylkill - 12, Penn State Fayette - 7
Penn State Schuylkill shrugged off a tough start to their PSUAC playoff journey as their bats got hot en route to a 12-7 win over Fayette to stay alive in the double elimination tournament. The loss knocks Fayette out of the PSUAC title hunt, but they still have a shot at an at-large berth in the USCAA Championship tournament.
Three Schuylkill players drove in two runs, including Stephanie Killian who finished 3-for-4 with two runs scored as well. Hayley Wolff added two RBIs while Marcella Scheeler cracked a two-run homer in the second.
Cara Brennan was the beneficiary of the run support, picking up the win with 4 2/3 innings worth of work. Despite issuing seven walks, Brennan and Hannah Sell combined to keep Schuylkill ahead for the entire game in what turned out to be a slugfest.
Three Fayette players finished with two hits, including Kelsey Holp who added two RBIs. Fayette finishes 22-15, with a 15-5 conference mark. They will hope to hear their name called during this week’s USCAA selection show.
Penn State Brandywine - 5, Penn State Beaver - 1
It was the Katie DeStefano show for Brandywine on Sunday night as the senior went 3-for-3 at the plate while also pitching her second complete game of the day. The win cemented Brandywine's place in the championship game where they will look to pick up their fourth straight conference title.
DeStefano allowed seven hits and only one run--that one coming in the seventh inning, her 12th of the day. Teammate Katy Steffen added a two-run double in the fifth as Brandywine clung to a 1-0 lead, extending it to 3-0 and then 5-0 after RBI singles by Nikki Velez and DeStefano.
Beaver was unable to sustain a rally until the seventh when they pushed across their lone run after loading the bases, but DeStefano was able to wiggle out of it to seal the win.
Beaver will meet Schuylkill for the second time in as many days as each team looks to avoid elimination and advance to the championship game. First pitch is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. at Beard Field.