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Late-inning rally falls short for Gallaudet against NEAC's top team

Late-inning rally falls short for Gallaudet against NEAC's top team

WASHINGTON - The Gallaudet University softball team dropped a North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) doubleheader to Penn St.-Berks, the top team in the conference, 11-0 in five innings in the first game and 9-6 in eight innings in the second game.

Penn St.-Berks (28-3, 18-0 NEAC) had a perfect game no-hitter in the first game and scored six runs in the eighth inning in the second game to sweep Gallaudet (9-17, 3-15 NEAC) after it tied the game, 3-3, in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Game 1: Penn St.-Berks 11, Gallaudet 0 (5 innings)
Penn St.-Berks pitcher Jessica Rozick (13-1) threw a perfect game as she faced 15 Bison batters and struck out five of them. Rozick threw 52 pitches where 41 were called for strikes. Jenna Heffner hit for the cycle as she went 4-for-4 at the plate, scored two runs and knocked in four runs.

Heffner hit a two-run home run in the second inning after a single in the first inning. She doubled home two runs in the third inning and tripled in the fifth. Ashley Malek added a solo home run in the top of the fifth inning to cap Penn St.-Berks' 11 runs.

Sophomore Alyssa Barlow (Chandler, Ariz.) took the loss in the circle for the Bison as she allowed 11 runs on 14 hits, walked four and struck out four.

Game 2: Penn St.-Berks 9, Gallaudet 6 (8 innings)
It was a wild eighth inning in the second game as Penn St.-Berks outscored Gallaudet 6-3 in the decisive inning. The two teams started the game tied at 1-1 after the first inning before five straight scoreless innings.

In the top of the seventh inning, the Nittany Lions touched up Gallaudet starting pitcher Jordan Hogan (Severn, Md.) for two runs to take a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the seventh.

Gallaudet rallied with two outs when sophomore Kelsey Hudson (Blissfield, Mich.) singled through the right side of the infield to load the bases. Barlow stepped to the plate and came through with a single up the middle off Penn St.-Berks starting pitcher Becca Faust. Senior Raquel Grindstaff (New Market, Md.) and Hogan came around to score as Hudson stayed at second base.

After a pitching change, Gallaudet ran itself out of the inning as Hudson tried to steal third base on a wild pitch but was thrown out by catcher Carolyn Degurski to third baseman Chelsea Bright.

In the eighth inning, Gallaudet got a quick out before Malek tripled to right-center field to score Mackenzie Huber from second back, who was placed there due to the international tiebreaker rule. On the next play, Megan Olsen put the ball in play in the infield as the Bison threw home to try and tag out Malek, who just beat the throw on a close play to score the run. Kendel Reed and Degurski came through with a two-RBI hits to increase the Nittany Lions' total to nine runs in the game.

There was no quit in the Bison as they faced a six-run deficit. Penn St.-Berks felt some pressure in the eighth as a wild throw from the shortstop allowed Barlow to score from third base. After a double steal and a strikeout, Grindstaff flied out to right field to score Kate Fetzer (Noblesville, Ind.) and an errant throw allowed Emily Walters (Gillette, Wyo.) to score from second base.

The bases were loaded for Hudson as GU was down three, 9-6, and Berks made another pitching change. Hudson worked a full count before swinging and missing the last pitch to end the game.

Abby Straskiel (4-1) earned the win in the eighth inning while Rozick got her first save of the season for getting the last out of the game.

BISON TRACKS

  • Three different Bison had two or more hits in the second game
  • Hogan led the team going 3-for-5 in the second game
  • Barlow drove in three runs including a RBI single in the first inning
  • Six different Bison scored a run in the second game
  • Hudson left five runners on base

UP NEXT
Gallaudet is slated to close out its season on Sunday, May 1, at home against Lancaster Bible College on Senior Day as the Bison host the Chargers for a NEAC doubleheader at the GU Softball Complex. The first game is slated to start at noon but stay tuned to www.gallaudetathletics.com for updates on game times if weather is a factor.