DuBOIS — Coming off a tough doubleheader sweep at the hands of division rival Penn State Fayette Wednesday evening, the Penn State DuBois softball team bounced back in a big way Saturday by taking a pair of games from PSU-Mont Alto at Heindl Field.
DuBois seized control in Game 1 with a 12-run bottom of the first on its way to a 13-0, 5-inning victory, then completed the sweep with a 12-2 win in five innings in Game 2. DuBois went a combined 26-for-51 at the plate in the two games, hitting three home runs and four doubles.
“After dropping a couple emotional games to Fayette on Wednesday, I challenged the team at practice on Thursday to play with desperation,” said Penn State DuBois coach Jason Kern. “I feel the ladies accepted the challenge and played with that desperation this afternoon.
“We had a good afternoon crowd and the ladies fed off that energy.
“We got great production from 1 through 9 in the lineup, and I am confident with any lineup we send out each game. We only have 11 on the roster, but it’s the right 11. I’d rather have the right 11 any season as opposed to having the wrong 15. This is a very close knit team and it makes coaching that much easier when they all work together and get along.”
Freshman pitcher Lizzy Scott went the distance in both games to record a pair of wins. She was especially dominant in the opener, tossing a one-hit shutout while striking out nine and walked just one. She allowed just two runs and seven hits while striking out 16 and walking three overall on the day.
“I feel Lizzy hit her spots today in the circle and did a good job of staying out in front of batters and keeping them off balance in the box,” said Kern. “It was nice to have Lizzy go the distance in both games because it gives Brooke Harvey some more time to rest her arm, which has been bothering her for most of this season.”
Scott’s offense gave her a big lead to work with in Game 1 with the huge 12-run bottom of the first against Katie McCauslin that featured 10 hits and three Mont Alto errors.
Cierra O’Shell led things off with a single and went to third when the ball got past the left fielder. After a lineout, Laura Fatula beat out an infield single that scored O’Shell.
Infield singles by Skylar Ceprish Makenzie Lukehart loaded the bases for Cayleigh Huffman, who drew a walk to force home Fatula. Brooke Harvey then reached on an error that allowed both Lukehart and Huffman to come home.
Back-to-back singles by Melody Young and O’Shell each produced a run to make it 7-0 before Sam Satterlee reached on error that allowed Young to score. After Fatula flew out, Ceprish kept the inning going with a two-out infield single that brought home O’Shell.
Lukehart’s second hit of the inning plated Satterlee before Huffman capped the big inning with a two-run double to put PSU-DuBois up 12-0.
That offensive explosion proved to be more than enough, which may have been a good thing as the DuBois bats went silent against McCauslin over the final three innings.
The Mont Alto starter tossed a scoreless second and third inning, getting a double play from her defense to end the third after Fatula singled with one out.
DuBois plated its final run in the fourth.
Lukehart led off the inning with her third single of the game and promptly stole second. Huffman then ripped a single to score Lukehart to set the eventual final at 13-0. Huffman was 2-for-2 with the double and four RBIs in the win.
O’Shell, Fatula and Ceprish joined Huffman in having two hits.
Scott’s bid for a no-hitter ended in the fifth when Dara Murray ripped a single to left field to lead off the inning. She never left first base as Scott retired the next three hitters — two via strikeout — to finish off her shutout.
Mont Alto came out swing in Game 2, with Brooklyn Wagner ripping a leadoff double against Scott. Dara Murray then singled with one out before McCauslin put down a bunt. Scott’s throw to first was high, allowing Wagner to score from third.
Scott quickly made up for the miscue, as she started a first-to-home inning-ending double play on a combacker hit Shaina Walker. Scott settled in from there, allowing just one hit and two walks over the next three innings _ allowing her offense to get to work.
After McCauslin retired DuBois in order in the first, the hosts grabbed the lead in the second when Ceprish hit a leadoff single and later scored on at two-out home run over the fence in right-center by MacTavish.
DuBois extended its lead with four more run in the third.
Satterlee got things started with a two-out single to center. She promptly stole second and scored on a single to right by Fatula. Ceprish then rifled a pitch right over the first base bag. The ball rolled all the way into the right-field corner as Ceprish circled the bases for a two-run, inside-the-park home run.
Lukehart kept the inning going with an infield single and scored from first when Huffman doubled to left-center field to make it 6-1 after two innings.
DuBois then all but put the game away with a six-run fourth to take a 12-1 advantage.
Scott jump-started the inning with a leadoff walk. She stole second and scored on a double by Young. O’Shell followed with a double of her own to plate Young before Fatula blasted a two-run homer down the left-field line to make it a 10-1 game. Fatula was 2-for-3 with the homer and three RBIs.
DuBois’ wasn’t quite finished though.
Ceprish and Brooke Harvey kept the inning rolling with back-to-back singles. Both scored on a two-out single to center by MacTavish that put DuBois up 12-1. Ceprish had three hits and two RBIs in the game, while MacTavish had two hits and three RBIs.
Mont Alto didn’t go quietly, bunching three hits together in the top of the fifth. A two-out single by McCauslin scored Wagner, who also had singled, to set the final at 12-2.
Scott allowed two runs, both earned, on six hits to earn the win in Game 2. She struck out seven and walked two.
“I feel MacTavish did a good job of keeping Lizzy on the corners and K-Mac, as we call her, had a couple big hits in Game 2, including her home run to right-center,” said Kern. “She has exceeded our expectations behind the plate and with the bat and has become the best catcher this program has had in its short history.”
Overall offensively, Ceprish led DuBois attack going 5-for-6 with three RBIs and five runs scores in two games. Fatula was 4-for-6 with four RBIs, while Lukehart went 4-for-5 with a RBI and four runs.
Huffman led the team with six RBIs, going 3-for-4 with two doubles, while MacTavish was 3-for-5 with five RBIs. O’Shell added three hits, two RBIs and three runs, wjile Young had two hits and two RBIs combined.
“At this point a year ago, we only had two victories under our belt in the program history,” said Kern. “Here we are with 13 overall victories (13-8) this season and 11-3 in the conference and one loss behind Beaver for the top spot. We are also one conference victory away from clinching a playoff spot for the first time in the program’s short history.”
The series was scheduled to end today at Mont Alto, but due to poor weather conditions forecasted, the teams will now conclude the series with a doubleheader Wednesday at Mont Alto.