ERIE, Pa. – The Penn State Behrend softball team have now won 11 straight games, including a 15-4 (5 innings) and 6-3 sweep over Mt. Aloysius in Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) action on Saturday afternoon.
The Lions (17-11, 9-1 AMCC) smacked four home runs on the day, two in each game to defeat the Mounties (12-14, 3-7 AMCC). AJ Nichols (Pittsburgh, PA/Shaler) went a combined 5-for-8 on the day with three RBIs, a home run and a double while picking the win in the circle in the nightcap.
In game one, Behrend scored nine runs in the bottom of the second inning with two outs showing to take a commanding lead and not look back for the 11-run victory.
Allania Banta (Waterford, PA/Fort LeBoeuf) and Katie Gozzard (Pittsburgh, PA/ Deer Lakes) each knocked in three ones in the frame. Banta smacked a homer to left center to score a trio and then Gozzard doubled to right center for three more runs, before Kargol smacked one over the fence for two more to end the inning with a 10-2 lead.
Two singles by Alexa Bupp (Warren, PA/Warren) and Gozzard added two more runs in the third, while good base running and a wild pitch got the Lions three runs on two hits in the fourth to make it 15-4.
Miller pitched the first four innings and struck out five for the win, before giving way to Bupp for the last frame. Banta, Gozzard and Angela Sullivan (Belle Vernon, PA/Belle Vernon) finished with two hits a piece.
The home runs did not stop in the opener. Behrend had six extra-base hits in game two, four doubles and two long balls for a 6-3 win for the sweep.
Bupp went a perfect 3-for-3 with two doubles, while Nichols and Shannon McDonnell (Fayston, VT/Harwood Union) tallied the home runs.
In the bottom of the first, Banta reached on a single and Nichols homered to left field for a 2-0 lead.
Mt. Aloysius cut the lead to 2-1 with a run in the second. Karly Klein scored with a bases-loaded walk by Kateryna Bittner. Nichols got the team out of trouble with a strikeout and a ground out to leave three runners stranded.
McDonnell hit her home run in the third to make it 5-1 after three. The Mounties closed the gap to 5-3 in the fifth but Behrend added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth with a Nichols double to left center to score pinch hitter Jillian Williams (Corry, PA/Corry).
Nichols earned her seventh win in the circle, allowing three hits and three runs. She also fanned four batters. Bupp came in for relief once again and struck out all three batters she faced.
Behrend returns to action on Tuesday against Medaille. The doubleheader begins at 3 p.m.