GREENVILLE, Pa. – The Penn State Behrend softball team swept Thiel 6-5 and 10-1 in a non-conference doubleheader on Monday afternoon.
Katie Gozzard (Pittsburgh, PA/Deer Lakes) combined for five hits, four RBIs and three runs, while scoring the eventual game-winning run in the top of the seventh in game one for the Lions (6-8).
AJ Nichols (Pittsburgh, PA/Shaler) was the winning pitcher with four strikeouts, while Shannon McDonnell (Fayston, VT/Harwood Union) smacked a double and Carson Hauser (Westfield, NY/Westfield Academy) recorded a triple in the first win.
In the opener, the game was tied 1-all after the first inning. Behrend tallied its run on an illegal pitch with bases loaded and no outs. The Tomcats defense stood the test for the remaining outs and then added a run in the bottom of the frame.
Two scoreless innings went by before the Lions grabbed a 4-1 lead in the fifth. McDonnell and Gozzard hit back-to-back doubles after Nichols walked. Gozzard's two bagger knocked in McDonnell and Nichols, before scoring on a throwing error with Kristen Kargol's (Saegertown, PA/Cambridge Springs) hit.
Thiel made it 4-3 with a pair of runs in the sixth, but Behrend stretched the lead back out to 6-3 in the top of the seventh. Nichols reached on an error and Gozzard singled, before both advanced a base on a passed ball. Jillian Williams (Corry, PA/Corry) singled to score Nichols and then Gozzard scored on another error.
The Tomcats attempted a comeback in the seventh with three hits and scoring two runs with two outs showing. With the game-tying run on third, the Lions forced a pop up for the third out and a 6-5 final.
In the nightcap, Kendra Schreck (Emlenton, PA/Cranberry) went 3-for-4 with three runs and three RBIs to help Behrend score 10 runs on 11 hits for the sweep.
Nichols and McDonnell registered two hits apiece. Rachel Miller (North East, PA/North East) threw a complete game, giving up four hits and just one run.
The Lions, who did not score a run in the first two innings, scored in each frame subsequently after for a 10-1 victory. Behrend had its best inning in the fourth with three runs on three hits. Nichols started the inning with a single up the middle and Kargol walked for two runners on. Schreck hit an RBI single to send home Nichols, before scoring another with pinch runner Becca Svoboda (Sagamore, OH/Nordonia) on a single to left field by Hauser.
The Tomcats got a single run in the fifth with the efforts from Breanna Mesich. She walked, went two bases on wild pitches and stole home for the lone run in game two for Thiel.
Behrend returns to action on Thursday at Westminster. Game times are 3:30 and 5:30 p.m.