LHU splits twinbill with Millersville
LOCK HAVEN — Coming off one of their best pre-PSAC starts in some time, the Lock Haven team got things going Sunday afternoon when they welcomed Millersville University to Lawrence Field for a doubleheader.
When it was completed, there was both good news and bad news for the Bald Eagles as they split the pair of games with the Lady Marauders.
In the opener, LHU played all three aspects of the game well as it combined solid pitching, timely hitting with solid defense for a 4-1 win.
LHU lost the second game, 7-6.
Doing the work in the circle for the Bald Eagles as she has done so many times in her career was Bekah Slattery. The lefty went the distance for the win, allowing Millersville only two hits and one earned run while walking only one and striking out a dozen.
“Bekah was just Bekah,” said LHU coach Kelly Shannon. “We have seen her do that time after time and we expect to get good things from her every time she steps in the circle.”
As for the offense, after Millersville took a 1-0 lead in the second inning, the Bald Eagles evened the count at 1-all in their half of the inning when Casey Carpenter reached and Maddy Mathes drove Carpenter across the dish with an RBI double.
The tie was short-lived, however, as in the bottom of the third with Faith Ceely and Stefanie O’Grady on base, former Jersey Shore product Becca Caputo drilled a three-run shot to centerfield for the 4-1 lead that held up for the final.
“That was a clutch shot by B.C.,” said Shannon. “But at this point in time, that is what we expect from her. We did a good job getting on and we were just looking for something good from her and she was able to put a big swing on it.”
In the second game, LHU held leads of 2-0, 5-3 and 6-3 before Millersville tied the score at 6-all in the top of the sixth inning.
Giving the Lady Eagles the 5-3 advantage in the third was Rachel Gricoski with a three-run home run scoring Carpenter and Mikayla Ruppert ahead of her, Gricoski completing her power surge in the fifth with her second long ball of the game, a solo shot to left field to give her four RBI for the game.
Hoping the 6-3 lead would hold up, it didn’t turn out that way for LHU as Millersville tied the game on a three-run homer by Maggie Murphy before the visitors scored the winning run in the eighth in the tie-breaker situation.
“They (Millersville) were swinging it the whole game,” said Shannon. “Credit to them, they didn’t back down. That is part of what we are going to learn this year and that is people aren’t going to back down from us. When we feel the lead is comfortable, it isn’t so we have to keep going out there and attacking. I thought we could have had a better pitching performance in the second game, but those things are going to happen on certain days. What we need to do is find a way to win on those days too.”
The Lady Eagles had one final opportunity to tie the game in the bottom of the eighth when Slattery laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt for a runner on third and one out situation, but a foul popup and a fly ball to left allowed the Lady Marauders to escape with the 7-6 win.
Nobody likes to lose and Shannon related that to her troops in their post-game meeting.
“I just told them that we aren’t anywhere close to the end of the year. I told them we have to make sure that we are going out and making adjustments when we have to. We left a leadoff double on the bases and we didn’t even move her. It is not easy to lose and especially on your home field, but learn a lesson from the second game and we’ll come back.”
Lock Haven 4, Millersville 1
Millersville 010 000 0 — 1 2 0
Lock Haven 013 000 x — 4 5 0
Catherine Johnson, Emma Bevard (4) and Faith Willenbrock. Bekah Slattery and Madison Mathes. W – Slattery (5-5). L – Johnson (6-5).
Top Millersville hitters: Faith Willenbrock 1-3, HR. Top Lock Haven hitters: Faith Ceely 2-2, R; Becca Caputo 1-3, HR, 3 RBIs.
Lock Haven 6 (8 inn.)
Millersville 003 003 01 — 7 8 2
Lock Haven 203 010 00 — 6 9 0
Brianna White, Emma Bavard (3) and Brittany Little. Kayla Gee, Becca Caputo (3), Bekah Slattery (7) and Madison Mathes. W – Bevard (6-3). L – Slattery (5-6).
Top Millersville hitters: Allie Janowiak 1-3, HR, 3 RBIs; Brianna Battavio 2-4, R; Maggie Murphy 3-4, HR, 3 RBIs. Top Lock Haven hitters: Mikayla Ruppert 2-4, 2 runs; Rachel Griocki 2-3, HR, 2 runs, 4 RBIs.
Record: Lock Haven (9-9). Next: Lock Haven at Slippery Rock (DH), Tuesday, 2:30 p.m.