NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The Penn State Behrend softball team defeated Christopher Newport 3-2 in the opener and then fell 5-0 in game two to split a non-conference doubleheader on Sunday afternoon.
The Lions (4-8) scored three runs on four hits in the sixth inning in game one behind the pitching of AJ Nichols (Pittsburgh, PA/Shaler), before surrendering five runs scattered in four innings in game two.
Allania Banta (Waterford, PA/Fort LeBeouf) went 2-for-4 with a double and Kristen Kargol (Saegertown, PA/Cambridge Springs) tallied two hits in the opener. Nichols allowed two runs on eight hits and struck out three for her third win in the circle.
Both teams only registered runs in the sixth inning. Behrend started the top of the frame with a fly out, before Banta singled with a bunt. Lacey Hilderbrand (Pittsburgh, PA/North Allegheny) singled and Banta came around on a hit to center field by Nichols. On the same play, Hilderbrand scored on an error by the center fielder for a quick 2-0 lead. The Lions got their second out but recorded the eventual game-winning run with a hit by Katie Gozzard (Pittsburgh, PA/Deer Lakes) to send in Nichols to make it 3-0.
The Captains responded with four hits in the sixth, getting two runs thanks to an RBI double by Rachael Shiflett to cut the lead to 3-2.
Behrend could not generate another run off two hits in the seventh and Nichols and the defense allowed just one hit on Christopher Newport's last chance at bat for the final 3-2 margin.
In the nightcap, Aubrey Bates threw six-scoreless innings and allowed just two hits to help the Captains blank the Lions, 5-0.
Christopher Newport relied on 13 hits to score three runs; two in the first, one in the second, one in the fifth and another in the sixth.
The Lions return to action on Monday at Thiel. Game times are 3:30 and 5:30 for the non-conference doubleheader.