BRADFORD, Pa. – The Penn State Behrend softball team combined for 31 hits to score 23 runs and defeat Pitt-Bradford 9-6 and 14-4 (nine innings) in Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) action on Wednesday afternoon.
Alexa Bupp (Warren, PA/Warren) had a grand slam in the top of the ninth inning of the nightcap to break open a 4-all tie and start the 10-run frame to help the Lions (9-11, 3-1 AMCC) sweep the Panthers (6-17, 1-5 AMCC). Bupp finished the game with three hits and six RBI, while picking up the win in the circle with two innings pitched and three strikeouts.
Behrend never trailed in the second game, taking a 3-0 lead in the third inning with a pair of runs. Carson Hauser (Westfield, NY/Westfield Academy) singled and scored on an error, while AJ Nichols (Pittsburgh, PA/Shaler) tallied a hit and came home on a single by Bupp to add two runs to the run from the first inning.
Bradford responded with two hits and two runs in the third before the Lions tallied another run in the fourth with an RBI single from Kendra Schreck (Emlenton, PA/Cranberry) to score pinch runner Rachel Miller (North East, PA/North East). The Panthers, eager to get the split, got the game-tying run in the fifth to eventually force extra innings.
Behrend exploded in the ninth inning with 10 runs on eight hits. Two singles, a fielder's choice and an intentional walk got the bases load for Bupp's grand slam to left field. Allania Banta (Waterford, PA/Fort LeBeouf) and Alayna Derzak (Seven Fields, PA/Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic) tallied RBI hits in the inning for the commanding lead.
Bradford had one last chance and got three straight outs to secure the win for the Lions.
In game one, Behrend grabbed a 5-0 lead by scoring two runs in the first and three in the third. The Panthers cut the deficit to two with three runs in the bottom of the third. The Lions made it 6-3 with a run in the fourth and extended the lead to 9-3 in the sixth. Behrend held off a late rally in the seventh by Bradford for a 9-6 final.
Nichols was a perfect 5-for-5 with three runs and an RBI. Miller improves to four wins on the season in the circle after allowing three earned runs and striking out four.
McDonnell, who recorded three hits in the opener, started the scoring with hits in the first and third innings. After McDonnell scored Hauser in the top of the third, Kristen Kargol (Saegertown, PA/Cambridge Springs) ripped a two RBI single to score Nichols and McDonnell.
Five hits added three more runs in the sixth for Behrend. The Lions scored on three consecutive at bats, finishing with Gozzard's double to center field to send in McDonnell.
Bradford threatened with five hits in the seventh, including two doubles but Behrend was able to hold the Panthers to just three wins.
The Lions return to action on Saturday against La Roche in the home opener. The doubleheader begins at 1 p.m.