MIDDLETOWN, Pa. – Penn State Harrisburg junior pitcher Gabby Wolfe (New Milford, Pa. / Blue Ridge) turned in one of the best performances of her collegiate career on Saturday afternoon, Apr. 12 when the Lions split a doubleheader against Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) opponent Southern Virginia. The ladies fell 2-0 in the opener before rebounding and besting the Knights 10-6 in game number two. Although she failed to be credited with a win inside the circle, Wolfe's 8.2 innings pitched and 12 strikeouts over the course of the two outings helped lead the Blue & White to a much-needed victory.
The opener was a game of missed opportunities for Penn State Harrisburg. In the bottom of the third inning, the Lions had a chance to strike first. Junior Mackenzie Trafka (Middletown, Pa. / Middletown Area) led off with a single through the left side but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double. Freshman Kayla Seyfert (Lebanon, Pa. / Cedar Crest) followed it up with a double to left center field before advancing to third base on a wild pitch. Unfortunately, she was picked off at third just moments later and the ladies' scoring chance was thwarted.
A pitcher's duel ensued until the top of the seventh inning when a Penn State Harrisburg two-out error cost the Lions and the Knights took full advantage, scoring two runs thanks to a Southern Virginia bases clearing triple.
Wolfe threw a complete seven-inning game and allowed just five hits and no earned runs in addition to striking out 11 Knight batters. Seyfert, Trafka, freshman Leah Palm (Hummelstown, Pa. / Lower Dauphin) and sophomore Jackie Furch (Hallstead, Pa. / Blue Ridge) accounted for the team's four hits.
The second game saw the Blue & White jump out to an early lead when in the first inning, Wolfe doubled to right field and scored Seyfert. In the second stanza, a Southern Virginia error allowed Seyfert to reach base safely while also scoring Furch from third base.
The Knights fought back and tied it up when they scored two runs in the top of the fourth before taking the lead in the top of the fifth when they plated two more.
The Lions were patient in the bottom of the fifth and took advantage of five walks, two Southern Virginia errors and a wild pitch when they answered back and scored five runs and regained the lead at 7-4. Seyfert, Furch, junior Erika Love (Harrisburg, Pa. / Central Dauphin East), sophomore Jasmine Yanich (Harrisburg, Pa. / Susquehanna Township) and freshman Amanda Hartman (Reading, Pa. / Oley Valley) all crossed the plate in the fifth.
When the Knights responded with a run in the sixth, Penn State Harrisburg came right back and scored three more runs in the bottom half of the frame. Furch, Hartman and Trafka plated and upped the Lions' advantage to 10-5.
The Knights added one more run in the seventh but Wolfe shut them down from there and secured Penn State Harrisburg's seventh win of the 2014 season.
Seyfert was 1-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs. Furch scored three times while Hartman crossed the plate twice. Palm, Wolfe, Yanich and freshman Katie Schwenk (Lykens, Pa. / Upper Daupin) each recorded an RBI. Furch, the Lions' starting pitcher, threw four innings and allowed just one earned run while Hartman picked up the win in relief. Wolfe threw the final 1.2 innings and allowed no earned runs in addition to picking up another strikeout.
The victory improved Penn State Harrisburg to 7-17 on the year and the Lions' conference record remained 1-9. The Blue & White are next in action Monday afternoon, Apr. 15 when they travel south to Frostburg State for another league doubleheader.
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