The Lock Haven University softball team (22-9 Overall, 5-2 PSAC) continued to show its dominance last Saturday at Lawrence Field with a doubleheader sweep against Clarion University (3-19 Overall, 1-6 PSAC) with both games ending in five innings with two 8-0 shutouts.
Clarion’s Marissa Peterson started the first inning by striking out. Clarion got its first base runner thanks to Taylor Nonnenberg, who reached first base on an error by LHU’s Bekah S
lattery. The next batter, Christina Tressler, reached first by avoiding a double play for the second out. Paige Baker then ended the first half of the inning with a swinging strikeout.
After Clarion got the first two batters out with a strikeout and a groundout, McKenna Garlock got the first hit of the game with a double to deep left field on a 2-0 count. Michelle Holweger then ended the first inning with a fly out to left field, leaving one runner on base.
After a 1-2-3 top of the second inning, Lock Haven made sure to get the lead earlier, and they definitely delivered. Jodi Weaknecht started the inning with a 3-bagger to deep center field and later scored the first run on a wild pitch by Sarah Gossard. Rachel Mouillesseaux kept the rally going with a single. Becca Caputo reached first base with a single to put runners on first and second with nobody out. Both runners advanced to second and third base on another wild pitch. After Slattery flied out to center field, Paige Stuppy then reached first on a 4-pitch walk to load the bases with one out. Jessica Strouse made the score 2-0 with a single on a 0-2 count to keep the rally going. Faith Ceely became the second out of the inning with a groundout to second base, but recorded an RBI to make the score 3-0. Garlock made it 5-0 with a single. Holweger later hit a double to center field to make the score 6-0, who later advanced to third base on a passed ball. Weaknecht became the third out with a fly out to third base to end the monstrous second inning.
Clarion’s Sarah Gossard started the top of the third with a line out to first base. Audrey Hummel got Clarion in the hit column with a single to right center field. Hummel later became the first out of the second out after leaving the base too early. Peterson then struck out swinging to end the top half of the third inning.
Mouillesseaux started the bottom of the third with a single and then advanced to second base on a throwing error. Clarion got out of trouble, however, with two pop outs and a ground to the shortstop.
After a painless first half of the fourth inning with a fly out and two strikeouts, Garlock was the only base runner after a two-out single to left field.
Clarion’s Casey Wilcox doubled to left field to kick off the top of the fifth inning. Hoffman later singled to put runners on the corners with two outs. LHU prevented Clarion’s first run thanks to a fielder’s choice to keep the score 6-0.
Weaknecht started the bottom of the fifth inning with a leadoff walk. Mouillesseaux later grounded into a double play to clear the bases. After the double play, LHU made the Golden Eagles pay for it. Caputo started the rally with a double to left field, who later advanced to third base on a passed ball. Slattery later walked to put runners on the corners with two outs. Slattery then stole second base to have two runners in scoring positions. Paige Stuppy then became the hero with a walk-off 2-RBI single to give Lock Haven the 8-0 mercy rule victory in five innings. Slattery earned her 12th win of the season after only giving up three hits in the game. Clarion’s Sarah Gossard’s record dropped to 1-3.
Lock Haven later won game two with another 8-0 mercy rule victory for its 22nd win of the season.
Lock Haven University softball will return home this Saturday, April 9 with a doubleheader against Indiana University of Pennsylvania. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.
Photos: By Robert McCool