MIDDLETOWN, Pa. – Penn State Harrisburg softball returned to North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) play at Penn College on Saturday afternoon, April 3. The Lions dropped the pair of contests 10-2 in the opener and 7-2 in the second outing.
Penn State Harrisburg got off to a great start in game one but three Blue & White errors that eventually led to five unearned runs for the home team proved too much to overcome.
Courtney Fleisher got things started for the Lions with a double in the top of the first. A Penn College error allowed Sarah Coolbaugh to reach and moved Fleisher along to third base for Kaylee DeMatteo who singled to right field, scoring Fleisher and putting the visitors on the board first. Steph Reider followed it up with the team's second double of the inning, plating Coolbaugh in the process to push the early lead to 2-0.
The Wildcats answered back in the bottom half, however, taking advantage of a pair of Penn State Harrisburg defensive miscues and using two walks and three hits to take a 4-2 advantage. Penn College tacked on four more runs, including two of the unearned variety, in the bottom of the second to push the lead to 8-2.
The Blue & White stranded a pair of runners in the top of the fourth and back-to-back patient at-bats by Wildcat hitters resulted in RBI walks that pushed the home team's lead to eight and ended the opener.
The Lions fell into an early hole in the second game of their conference twin bill and despite a 2-run fourth inning, the visitors were unable to overcome the early deficit.
Penn College used a couple walks to score the game's first run in the bottom of the second and three consecutive singles to plate the second run in the bottom of the third. Before the third was through, the Wildcats tacked on another to push the lead to 3-0 heading into the fourth frame.
The Blue & White got rolling in the fourth when an error allowed Courtney Fleisher to reach base and advance to second. Sarah Coolbaugh's ensuing double to left center field got Penn State Harrisburg on the board and the third Penn College error of the inning allowed her to come across following a Steph Reider at-bat later in the stanza.
The Wildcats responded with three runs in the bottom half, using a pair of doubles and another Penn State Harrisburg error to extend the advantage to 6-2 after four. Penn College capped the game's scoring with one more unearned run in the bottom of the sixth.
- Steph Reider went 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI in the opener and added another base knock in game two. She's currently batting an impressive .611 on the season.
- Kaylee DeMatteo also stayed hot, driving in a run in the opener with an RBI single. She's batting an outstanding .625 on the spring.
- Courtney Fleisher got the start in game one and tallied five strikeouts in 5.2 innings thrown. At the plate, she added a double in the first game.
- Sarah Coolbaugh recorded the team's lone extra-base hit in the nightcap – an RBI double.
- Mary-Kate Penczkowski threw all six innings in the second outing and racked up five strikeouts.
- The bats went quiet in game two, with the Lions managing just three hits in the nightcap.
- Five Penn State Harrisburg errors on the day led to a total of seven unearned runs across both games.
The Lions are still looking for their first win of the spring. They'll get another crack at it when they host Lancaster Bible for another conference doubleheader at Courtney Pollock Memorial Field on Friday afternoon, April 9.