LHU opens 3-game lead in PSAC Central softball

LOCK HAVEN — Lock?Haven’s softball team swept Bloomsburg Tuesday at sun-drenched Lawrence Field, 2-1 and 7-6 to open a 3-game lead in the PSAC?Central.

LHU is now 11-1 in the division, while Bloom fell to 8-4.

“These wins were absolutely huge, not only in the conference but in the region as well,” said LHU head coach Kelly Shannon. “Right now I think the central is the only division that is decided as to which three teams go (to the PSAC?playoffs). We approached this doubleheader and the next two against Mansfield and IUP for seeding purposes and preparing us for the post-season.”

The first game featured excellent pitching, sound defense and timely hitting and when you combine those three areas in a game, the results are usually good.

“Isn’t that the way it is supposed to be,” said Shannon. “We have always done pretty well getting some hits against (Bloomsburg starter) Cait Paine. She was a little tougher giving up the consistent hits today so it took a little bit of adjusting on our part.”

The defensive effort was evident for the rest of the game after a funky error showed up on the first at-bat of the day and the timely hits were provided by Brittany Favazza and Bridgette Clark in the third inning with LHU trailing 1-0.

Favazza led off the inning with a sharp double to left and on the very next pitch offered by veteran Bloomsburg pitcher Paine, Clark went yard with a two-run homer to right.

While the first game featured a lot of good plays, the second contest at times resembled a comedy of errors.

Both teams squandered scoring opportunities in the first inning when the Lady Huskies stranded a pair of runners in scoring position before the Lady Eagles loaded the bases with only one out before a pair of fly balls ended their possible threat.

While the Lady Eagles were baffled by Black, the Lady Huskies appeared to be taking control of the game as they scored a pair of runs in each of the second and third innings for a 4-0 lead.

But then the Lady Eagles, still trailing by four runs, sent 11 batters to the dish in the fifth and came away with seven runs for a 7-4 lead.

Clark led off with a double, the 42nd of her career and a new LHU?school record, and following a Bloomsburg error, a base on balls, a single to center, a hit batsman and an infield single, LHU had tied the game at 4-all.

“I feel that records are marks that you put up there for other people to come back and break,” said Clark. “If that means that I can motivate a future Lock Haven player to go after it (the record) then that makes me feel good about it.”

Shannon chose to go to pinch-hitter Erica Pooler, a sophomore from Bellefonte, and Pooler delivered a clutch single up the middle to put the Lady Eagles in front for good.

Bloomsburg 100 000 0 – 1 7 2

Lock Haven 002 000 X – 2 8 0

Brianna Jennings and Alicia Cacciotti. C. Paine and L. Rehm. W – Jennings (20-2). L – (12-8).

Top Lock Haven hitters: Chelsea Edwards 2-3; Bridgette Clarke 2-4, R, 2 RBIs. Top Bloomsburg hitters: K. McHale 2-4; R. Fredell 0-2, RBI.

Bloomsburg022 002 0 – 6 13 2

Lock Haven 000 070 X – 7 7 2

Sarah Morse, Brianna Jennings (6) and Alicia Cacciotti. B. Taylor, M. Black (2) and L. Rehm. W – Morse (7-6). L – Black (4-5). S – Jennings (1).

Top Lock Haven hitters: Bridgette Clark 1-3, R, BB; Alicia Cacciott 1-2, 2 BB. Top Bloomsburg hitters: K. McHale 3-4, R; M. Baer 2-4, R.

Records: Lock Haven 28-8, 11-1 PSAC C ; Bloomsburg 24-14, 8-4 PSAC C