READING, Pa. – The Gallaudet University softball team suffered another setback Saturday in a North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) doubleheader, this time on the road against Penn St.-Berks. The Bison didn't have enough firepower to keep up with the Nittany Lions as they were swept 10-2 in five innings and 22-14 in six.
Gallaudet (5-21, 3-7 NEAC South) fell into an early hole in the first game. Penn St.-Berks (7-17, 7-3 NEAC South) got on the scoreboard early and often as it scored six runs in the first two innings. The Bison would surrender four more in in the third and fourth innings. Junior outfielder Alicia Johnson (San Jose, Calif.) was responsible for both of Gallaudet's runs when she reached on a fielding error that scored sophomore shortstop Kara Gulvas (Crown Point, Ind.). Johnson later scored on an error by the left fielder in the fifth inning.
Freshman pitcher Montana Murphy (Simi Valley, Calif.) was charged with the loss in game one. Murphy (1-10) struck out two and walked one as she allowed 10 runs (seven earned) off 11 hits. Raychel Dearmitt (1-5) struck out 11 batters as she picked up the win for Penn St.-Berks.
Game two was an offense shootout as both teams broke double-digits. The Bison and Nittany Lions set a new NEAC season-high in runs scored with 36. Gallaudet's 14 runs set the season-high for a non-exhibition game. The Bison scored 18 runs earlier this season against Trinity (D.C.) University in an exhibition matchup. The 48 combined runs scored in the two games are the most for Gallaudet and its opponent this season.
Both teams exploded out of the gate early but Gallaudet took a 9-5 lead after two innings. Freshman second baseman Mia Fernandez (Artesia, N.M.) highlighted the big inning with a two-run double. She later scored on a single by senior first baseman Jessica Buckwalter (Palmyra, Mo.). Gallaudet was in control until the Nittany Lions scored 16 runs in the final two innings. The Bison tried to keep pace but scored five runs in the last two innings.
Sophomore pitcher Rachel Sweigart (Big Rock, Ill.) took the loss in a game that was marred by errors on both sides (16 total miscues). Sweigart (4-8) struck out three batters, walked five and gave up 13 runs (four earned) on nine hits in five innings of work. Larissa Tenley (3-2) picked up the win in relief. Gallaudet totaled six errors in the second game while the Nittany Lions committed 10. There were seven errors in the first game as the two teams combined for 23 errors in two games (14 by Berks).
Gallaudet will look to even the score against Penn St.-Berks in a week on Saturday, April 14, in the return trip of the home-and-home series. The doubleheader is slated to begin at noon at the GU Softball Complex.