Cal U drops doubleheader to Mercyhurst
BUTLER, Pa. (April 3) â€“ The California University of Pennsylvania baseball team was limited to just one run and six hits in a doubleheader on Sunday afternoon, falling twice to No. 30 Mercyhurst in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) West play at Pullman Park, 1-0 and 4-1.
With the losses, the Vulcans fall to 13-12 this season with a 3-7 mark in divisional action. Meanwhile, the Lakers improve to 19-6 overall and 5-3 in league play. Mercyhurst has won six of the 10 meetings against Cal U since joining the PSAC prior to the 2009 season.
In Game 1, starters Randy Sturgill (Leechburg, Pa./Leechburg) and Eric Aschley each tossed complete games and combined to allow just seven hits, one walk and one run. Sturgill suffered the loss (5-2) after yielding just one run (earned) on four hits with six strikeouts in his fourth complete game of the season (86 pitches). Aschley improved to 3-1 after throwing a three-hit, complete-game shutout (79 pitches) with five strikeouts.
Sturgill retired the first 10 batters (five strikeouts) he faced before allowing a one-out walk in the fourth. After the Vulcans were retired in order in the bottom of the inning, the first two Lakers reached on singles in the fifth before Sturgill induced a double play and pop-up to prevent a run from scoring.
Mercyhurst manufactured the gameâ€™s only run in the top of the sixth to break the scoreless tie. Center fielder Justin Urschel opened the inning with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Following a fly-out, left fielder Kevin McCall delivered a two-out RBI single through the middle that scored Urschel from second.
The Vulcans only reached base four times (three singles, one fielderâ€™s choice) in the pitchersâ€™ duel and were in scoring position just once (first inning).
In the nightcap, sophomore Tyler Zimm (Fayetteville, W.Va./Oak Hill) dropped to 2-2 this season after allowing three runs (all earned) on eight hits in 6.0 innings of work (81 pitches). Mercyhurstâ€™s Ben Rawding earned the complete-game victory after yielding one run on three hits with eight strikeouts in 7.0 innings (107 pitches).
After Zimm retired the Lakers in order in the top of the first, Cal U manufactured its only run of the day in the bottom of the inning. Sophomore second baseman Evan King (Lancaster, Pa./Lampeter-Strasburg) opened the inning with a single and moved over to third following a sacrifice bunt and ground-out. Junior center fielder Troy Handza (Glenshaw, Pa./Shaler) then collected a two-out, RBI infield single that plated King.
Mercyhurst responded with two runs on four singles in the second. After a RBI single by right fielder Shane Latshaw tied the game, catcher Adam Brentlinger executed a squeeze play with runners on the corners to give the Lakers a 2-1 lead. Cal U looked to even the score in both the second and third innings by having the leadoff hitter reach third base both times. The Lakers nearly added to their lead in the fourth with another squeeze play, but Zimm was able to get the runner out at the plate.
In the seventh, Mercyhurst added to its lead after the first four batters of the inning reached base safely. The Vulcans kept the deficit at 4-1 when senior right fielder Chuck Faust (Hershey, Pa./Hershey) ended the inning by throwing out a runner who was attempting to score from second on a single.
King reached base three times in the nightcap, collecting two of the three hits by Cal U.
Cal U is scheduled to conclude its series with Mercyhurst tomorrow, Monday, April 4, with a doubleheader in Erie, Pa. The first game is slated for a 1 p.m. start.
Vulcans sweep doubleheader with Slippery Rock
CALIFORNIA (April 3) â€“ The Vulcans earned a pair of Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) West victories on Sunday afternoon, sweeping a doubleheader with Slippery Rock, 6-3, 5-1, at Lilly Field.
With the victories, the California University of Pennsylvania softball team improves its overall record to 19-7 with a perfect 4-0 mark in conference play. Slippery Rock drops to 16-4 on the season and losses its first two league games to slip to 4-2.
In Game 1, senior Maria Greco (Pickering, Ontario/Notre Dame Catholic) threw a complete game to pick up the win (4-3). In 7.0 innings (99 pitches), she allowed just three runs (all earned) while scattering eight hits and striking out six.
Cal U took an early 2-0 lead with a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the first. Senior right fielder Alyson Johnson (Waynesburg, Pa./Waynesburg Central) reached on an error, which scored freshman second baseman Shelby Lia (Whitby, Ontario/Donald A. Wilson), who also reached on an error. Senior first baseman Sarah Spiering (Upper Burrell, Pa./Burrell) then reached on a fielderâ€™s choice that drove in a run.
Slippery Rock answered back with three runs in the top of the second inning, highlighted by a two-run homer by first baseman Breanna Tongel, 3-2. Cal U tied the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the inning when senior third baseman Danielle Easton (Hanover, Pa./South Western) doubled and scored on a fielderâ€™s choice by Lia.
Cal U added a single run in the fourth on a Lia RBI single, and two runs in the fifth when Spiering belted a two-run homer (fifth of the season), 6-3.
Spiering was the only Vulcan with a multi-hit game, finishing 2-for-3 with three RBI, while Lia tallied two RBI.
The Rock starter Shauna Walker was tagged with the loss (6-3) after allowing six runs (two earned) and six hits with two strikeouts in 6.0 innings (98 pitches).
Freshman Kaitlyn Schilling (Morrisville, Pa./Pennsbury) earned the win in Game 2 (7-2), tossing a complete game five-hitter and allowing just one run (earned) while striking out four in 7.0 innings (107 pitches).
The Vulcans picked up a run in the bottom of the first, 1-0, when Johnson doubled home Lia. Cal U added another run in the third, 2-0, on a solo homer by junior shortstop Jillian Russell (London, Ontario/St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic), her eighth of the season.
After scoring a run in the fifth, the Vulcans added two insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth, 5-1. Junior left fielder Kristen McKenzie (Senneville, Quebec/St. Thomas) led off with a double, moved to third on a single by senior center fielder Merissa Daley (Whitby, Ontario/Sinclair) and scored on a ground out by Easton. Daley then scored on an RBI ground out by freshman Stephani Ellis (Vancouver, British Columbia/Prince of Wales Secondary).
Johnson finished Game 2 a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate, including a pair of doubles, with two RBI, while Lia also collected a multi-hit game (2-for-4) and Easton, Ellis and Russell each contributed one RBI.
Slippery Rock starter Shaylee Ianno was saddled with her first loss of the season (10-1), allowing three runs (all earned) and five hits in 4.1 innings (52 pitches).
The Vulcans are scheduled to return to action tomorrow, Monday, April 4, for a PSAC West doubleheader in Erie, Pa., against Gannon at 2:30 p.m.