DuBOIS — The Penn State DuBois softball team had its season come to an end as it suffered a 12-4 loss in five innings to Carlow in an elimination game on the second day of the USCAA Small College World Series at Heindl Field Tuesday.
The Lady Lions finished the season with an overall record of 20-15, including a 14-6 mark in PSUAC play as they had a breakout year in just their second full season.
DuBois’ milestones this year included making the PSUAC tournament for the first time, where they went 3-2 and lost to Penn State Brandywine 7-1 in their first ever conference championship game.
DuBois then earned the No. 9 seed for the World Series, there first ever bid into the tournament, as it fell just short of a first ever win in the Series, losing to Judson 2-1 on Monday before being knocked out with a second loss on Tuesday afternoon.
“I told the girls to hold their heads up high, regardless of the outcome today there is a lot to be proud of with what they accomplished,” Penn State DuBois head coach Jason Kern said. “To do that with only 11 on the roster is something special as well.”
The Lady Lions were unable to hold on to an early lead in Tuesday’s game, as Carlow used a five-run second inning to take the lead for good on the way to victory.
DuBois took the early lead with a pair of runs in the first inning, as Makenzie Lukehart worked a lead off walk before later scoring from first when Laura Fatula drove a one-out double to the right-center gap.
Fatula later scored the second run of the frame when Samantha Satterlee hit a bloop single that dropped between the Lady Celtics’ left fielder and second baseman as DuBois took a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the first.
Carlow responded right away with a pair of runs of its own to tie the game at two after one inning of play.
Abby Stroud delivered an RBI groundout to plate Ciara Murray who had led the inning off with a single, as Adrianna Gottheld, who reached on an error, later scored on a single by Annamarie Osiecki to tie the game.
After Carlow staring pitcher Osiecki retired the side in the top of the second, the Lady Celtics got back to work at the plate, capitalizing on another DuBois error on their way to putting five runs on the board.
Stroud came up with the big hit in the inning, clearing the bases with a double to left field to drive home three runs.
Trailing 7-2, DuBois looked for a rally in the top half of the third inning, as Skylar Ceprish was hit by a pitch and Fatula reached on a walk to put two runners on with no outs.
Kayleigh MacTavish then hit a grounder to third, as Ceprish was forced out at third on the play for the first out of the inning.
Brooke Harvey followed by doubling to left field to bring home Fatula and give the Lady Lions a pair of runners in scoring position.
Carlow then turned to Tristan Voss in the circle, as the first batter she faced was Satterlee, who came through with a single to left to score Harvey and trim the deficit to three runs.
Cayleigh Huffman followed by drawing a walk to load the bases with still just one out in the inning.
Voss responded by striking out the next two batters to escape the jam and preserve the 7-4 lead.
The Lady Celtics got the two runs right back in the bottom of the inning to stretch their lead back out to five, before scoring three in the fourth to push the lead to 12-4.
In both innings the Lady Lions scored a pair of runs, the first and the third, Carlow responded with two runs of its own in the bottom half of those innings.
“We knew Carlow was good and when you score you want to go back and hold your opponent,” Kern said. “We weren’t able to do that today and we were hindered by four errors.”
“If you have four errors in four innings against a good team, that’s just a recipe for disaster.”
With the top of the order up to bat in the fifth for DuBois, it needed at least one run to keep the game going, but Carlow relief pitcher Alysa Fairman retired the side in order to secure the mercy-rule victory.
Looking forward to next season, DuBois will lose seniors Melody Young and Koren McCullough as well as a pair of players to transfer.
“We lose four, but I think we have a good recruiting class coming in,” Kern said. “I’ve said all year that the team last year laid the foundation to be successful this year.”