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PSUAC Softball Playoff Preview: Can Brandywine make it 5 in a row?

Penn State Hazleton's Samantha Varela.
Penn State Hazleton's Samantha Varela.

PSUAC SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP PAGE

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The double-elimination portion of the 2019 PSUAC Softball playoffs will start on Sunday, May 5th at Heindl Memorial Park in DuBois, Pa. and conclude on Monday with championship play as four teams battle for conference supremacy and an automatic berth into the 2019 USCAA Small College World Series. Joining top seeds Penn State Beaver and Penn State Hazleton are Penn State Brandywine and Penn State DuBois, with the latter two needing to survive a first round play-in game to advance to the final four.

Games will begin on Sunday at 11:00 a.m. with Hazleton and DuBois squaring off before Beaver and defending champion Brandywine take the field. The loser of the first two games will then play an elimination game at 3:00 p.m. Sunday, with the winner of that game advancing to the loser's bracket final on Monday morning.

Championship play will continue on Monday morning with the loser's bracket final at 11:00 a.m. The winner will advance to the championship game at 1:00 p.m. An "if necessary" game is tentatively scheduled to immediately follow should the loser's bracket team win the first championship game.

Below is a preview for each of the remaining playoff teams.

Penn State Beaver

West #1 Seed

Record: 29-11, 17-3 PSUAC

USCAA Rank: 4

Notes

  • Won games in bunches, using winning streaks of six, seven and eight games throughout the season
  • Led by West Player and Pitcher of the Year Vanessa Jackson, who led the PSUAC in ERA (1.52) and wins (18)
  • Taylor and Tyler Johnson combined for 81 RBIs this season, with Taylor garnering West Newcomer of the Year honors
  • Head Coach Andy Kirschner was named PSUAC Coach of the Year
  • Did not lose a single conference series all season
  • Leads PSUAC in runs scored and stolen bases, as well as team ERA
Penn State DuBois

West #3 Seed

Record: 18-11, 14-6 PSUAC

USCAA Rank: 10

Notes

  • Season-high nine game winning streak during late March/early April
  • Program is in only its third year of existence
  • Led by PSUAC West First Teamer Laura Fatula and Honorable Mention selection Skylar Ceprish
  • Led PSUAC with 22 triples and a .526 slugging percentage
  • Pitcher Lizzy Scott leads PSUAC with 148 strikeouts and second in wins with 15
Penn State Hazleton

East #1 Seed

Record: 20-14, 10-2 PSUAC

USCAA Rank: 7

Notes

  • 10 game win streak during season, including two wins over defending champion Brandywine
  • Led by two-time East Player of the Year Samantha Varela, who leads PSUAC with 13 home runs and 52 RBIs; also picked up 10 wins on the mound
  • Freshman Madison Clark earned East Pitcher of the Year and Newcomer of the Year honors
  • Team leads PSUAC in home runs and walks
  • Looking for first conference title since 2010
Penn State Brandywine

East #2 Seed

Record: 20-16, 10-2 PSUAC

USCAA Rank: 8

Notes

  • Four-time defending champions of PSUAC Softball
  • Won 7 games vs. NCAA Division III opponents
  • Tied for first in East, but lost tiebreaker game to Hazleton, 10-8
  • Nine players earned PSUAC All-Conference honors, including five First Team selections
  • Team leads league in fielding percentage (.962)