MIDDLETOWN, Pa. – Penn State Harrisburg struggled to get the bats going on Wednesday afternoon, Apr. 2 and it cost the Lions two games to Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) opponent Christopher Newport. The No. 15 Captains held the ladies to just two combined hits in as many outings and defeated the Blue & White 10-0 in the opener before finishing the doubleheader sweep with an 8-0 victory in the nightcap.
The visitors used a big second inning in game number one to jump out to a lead they wouldn't relinquish. The Captains racked up seven runs on eight hits during the stanza.
Penn State Harrisburg threatened in the bottom of the fourth when junior Erika Love (Harrisburg, Pa. / Central Dauphin East) and freshman Leah Palm (Hummelstown, Pa. / Lower Dauphin) both found themselves in scoring position following a single, a walk and a wild pitch. Unfortunately for the home team, the ladies were unable to capitalize on the opportunity and failed to put any runs on the board.
Christopher Newport added three more runs in the top of the sixth inning thanks to three hits. When the Lions failed to pull within less than ten runs in the bottom of the frame, the Captains picked up their first win of the afternoon.
Love and Palm accounted for the Lions' two hits while Palm and freshman Katie Schwenk (Lykens, Pa. / Upper Dauphin) each worked a walk. Freshman Kayla Seyfert (Lebanon, Pa. / Cedar Crest) got the start inside the circle and allowed her first earned runs of the season in her two innings of work. Sophomore Jackie Furch (Hallstead / Blue Ridge) threw three innings and allowed just four hits and no runs while freshman Amanda Hartman (Reading, Pa. / Oley Valley) pitched the game's final inning.
The tough sledding continued for Penn State Harrisburg in game number two. Despite working three walks during the contest, the Lions managed no hits for the first time this season. Palm, Furch and junior Mackenzie Trafka (Middletown, Pa. / Middletown Area) all reached base but none of the ladies plated in the second outing.
After jumping out to a 1-0 advantage in the top of the first, the Captains really put the pressure on the Blue & White when they added five more in the top of the fourth. The visitors added one more run in both the fifth and sixth innings, clinching their second victory of the day.
Junior Gabrielle Wolfe (New Milford, Pa. / Blue Ridge) got the start in the pitcher's slot and threw four innings while allowing six runs; only one of which was earned. Furch threw the game's final three innings.
The Lions played fairly solid defense all afternoon with Palm, the sure-handed shortstop, and speedy centerfielder in sophomore Jasmine Yanich (Harrisburg, Pa. / Susquehanna Township) making numerous tough plays to keep the home team in it for as long as they could. In the end, however, it was the squad's lack of offense that proved to be the deciding factor.
The pair of losses dropped Penn State Harrisburg to 5-9 on the year and 0-2 in conference play. The Lions will look to pick up the program's first-ever CAC victory when they take on Wesley this Saturday, Apr. 5 in another league doubleheader.