Pitt and Penn State Baseball and Softball Roundup from Saturday

A look at how the Pitt and Penn State baseball and softball teams did Saturday.


PITTSBURGH – The University of Pittsburgh softball team split its doubleheader with ACC foe North Carolina in its home opener Saturdayafternoon at Vartabedian Field. After winning the first game 7-3, the Panthers fell to the Tar Heels 13-3 in six innings in the second.

Game one marked Pitt’s (17-8, 1-4 ACC) first conference win of the season and was also the 200th career win of head coach Holly Aprile.
The Panthers racked up 18 hits from seven different players between the two games.

Sophomore Giorgiana Zeremenko continued to hit well, as she went 3-for-7 with five RBIs and two home runs.

Freshman Olivia Gray had a career day, as she hit her first homer as a Panther in game one and went on to smack two doubles in game two. The freshman finished the afternoon going 3-for-5 with two RBIs.

Sophomore pitcher Kayla Harris threw a complete game one and allowed five hits as she picked up her eighth win of the season.

The Panthers plated their first run after a single from senior Jenna Modic advanced redshirt senior Shelby Pickett to third, and Pickett then crossed the plate on a fielding error by UNC catcher Leah Murray. The next batter was Zeremenko and she launched her team-high seventh homer of the season to give the Panthers an early 3-0 lead.

Pitt plated two more in the bottom of the third to take a 5-0 lead. Zeremenko followed a Modic double with an RBI double of her own. Sophomore Erin Hershman laid down a bunt, and a wild throw by UNC pitcher Kendra Lynch allowed pinch runner Ashlee Sills to score from second base.

The Tar Heels got back in the game in the sixth inning on a three-run homer by second baseman Taylor Wike, but Pitt added an insurance run in the home half of the inning when Gray hit her first career home run, which cleared the left center fence, giving Pitt a 6-3 cushion.

The Tar Heels plated three runs in the first inning to gain a 3-0 lead. UNC got its first two batters aboard, and both came home following a three-run homer to left center.

Neither team would score again until the top of the fifth inning when the Tar Heels’ Destiny DeBerry was brought in on a Brown groundout to short.

UNC brought nine runs across in the top of the sixth inning. After an Aquilla Mateen single and a Panther error, Katie Bailiff scored the first run of the inning for North Carolina. With one away, Taylor Wike smacked a two RBI double to left center. Pitt elected to walk Brown, who had already homered on the day, to bring up Berlynne Delamora. Delamora crushed a three-run home run to center field to put UNC up 8-0. The Tar Heels would go back-to-back as pitcher Kendra Lynch lined a ball over the left center wall. Following a walk, UNC posted another home run which drove in two more make the score 13-0 in favor of North Carolina.

Pitt put up three runs in bottom of the sixth inning but it wasn’t enough to catch the Tar Heels. After ripping a single through left side, Modic was brought in by Zeremenko as she smacked a home run to center for her second of the day. Hershman reached on an error and advanced to third by way of a Kaitlin Manuel single. Gray drove in Hershman when she lined a doubled to right center but that would be all the runs the Panthers would score.

Pitt and UNC will conclude the series tomorrow, Sunday March 20 at Noon.


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State claimed both ends of a doubleheader against Niagara Saturday in non-conference baseball action at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, earning a 4-1 win in the first game and a convincing 16-4 win in the second.

RHP Sal Biasi (Hazleton, Pa,) (2-2) pitched five scoreless innings of relief for Penn State (7-10) in the first game with five strikeouts, allowing just three hits and three walks, while RHP Jack Anderson (Evanston, Ill.) picked up his fourth save of the season and moved within six of the school’s all-time appearance record by limiting Niagara (3-17) to two hits and a walk while striking out two over the final two innings.

The Nittany Lions took command of the second game in the first inning when the Purple Eagles yielded six unearned runs despite not getting a hit. Penn State scored in each of the next five innings while RHP Justin Hagenman (Voorhees, N.J.) (3-1) worked six innings without allowing an earned run. He was touched for four unearned runs and gave up seven hits, but struck out five while not allowing any walks.

Freshman Willie Burger (Lancaster, Pa.) and sophomore Nick Graham (Chambersburg, Pa.) led the Nittany Lion attack with career days, reaching base six times each. Burger went 4-for-4 with four runs, three RBI and two walks, while Graham went 3-for-3 with five RBIs a walk and hit by pitch.

Niagara scored the day’s first run on an RBI-single by right fielder Taylor Hackett in the very first inning, which would give the Purple Eagles their only lead of the day. Hackett finished the first contest a game-high 3-for-5.

Penn State answered in the bottom of the third inning, on a two-out, RBI-single by freshman shortstop Conlin Hughes (Holly Springs, N.C.)

Jim Haley (Upper Darby, Pa.), who led Penn State with two of its eight hits in the first contest drove in the go-ahead run in the fifth inning. James Coates (Girard, Ohio) led the frame off with a walk and stole second to move into scoring position. Haley followed with a base hit to left field to drive him home from second.

The Lions added insurance runs in the seventh. Haley and right fielder Nick Riotto (Washington, Pa.) led the frame off with base hits and a sacrifice fly from Tyler Kendall (Boynton Beach, Fla.) plated Haley from third. Hughes replaced Riotto on the base paths after hitting into a fielder’s choice, but stole second and scored from there on a shot up the middle by Burger.

Niagara struggled to find the strike zone early in the second game, as the Lions sent 12 batters to the plate with none getting a hit off three different Niagara pitchers. The six runs were the result of an error, six walks, two hit batsmen and a wild pitch.

For the game, seven Niagara pitchers would combine to issue eight walks and hit seven.

Freshman Jordan Bowersox (Winter Springs, Fla.) added a two-out, RBI single in the second inning to score Burger, who had singled and then advanced to second after a hit batsman.

The Lions scored four runs on six hits in the third inning. Haley and Riotto led the frame off with base hits and Kendall, Burger, Christian Helsel (Altoona, Pa.) and Graham drove in runs. Graham doubled for the game’s lone extra-base hit.

The Purple Eagles cut into Penn State’s 11-0 lead in the top of the fourth with four unearned runs on three errors, but Penn State would score five runs over the next three innings for the final margin. Graham drove in the lone run in the fifth and both in the sixth.

Penn State will play its next games at home, hosting West Virginia Tuesday and Rhode Island Wednesday. Both games are set to start at 6:30 p.m.


PITTSBURGH – Snow flurries didn’t keep the University of Pittsburgh baseball team from action Saturday afternoon as the Panthers fell to No. 11 Florida State 9-2 at Charles L. Cost Field.

Pitt put the first run of the game on the board in the third. After Jacob Wright singled and stole second to put himself in scoring position, Charles LeBlanc slapped an RBI single to right field.

The Florida State offense got going in the fifth inning, totaling five runs on four hits. A double, walk, and bunt single loaded the bases for the Seminoles, and a hit batter pushed across the first run of the frame. With the bases still loaded, three-hitter Cal Raleigh hit a three-RBI, bases clearing triple. Raleigh would then make the score 5-1, coming home on a sacrifice fly before relief pitcher Garrett Wrambel got the Panthers out of the inning.

Pitt would respond in the bottom half of the inning. Again, Wright set the table for the Panthers, walking to lead off the inning. A Florida State throwing error would then allow Wright to come around to score his second run of the afternoon, bringing the score to 5-2.

The Seminoles would add a run in each of the next two innings to extend their lead to 7-2. A pair of walks and a Pitt throwing error plated another run for FSU in the sixth. In the seventh, hits by Quincy Nieporte and Ben DeLuzio added another one for the visitors.

Another pair of runs in the eight gave the Seminoles the 9-2 advantage, a lead they would retain for the remainder of the outing.

The series finale will take place tomorrow at Cost Field with a noon start time, moved back from the original 1 p.m. first pitch due to weather concerns.

Aaron Sandefur was awarded the loss as the starter tossed 4.0 innings, giving up four hits and five earned runs, walking four and striking out four. Wrambel pitched 3.0 innings of work, giving up one earned run off of three hits, walking two and striking out two.

LeBlanc led the Panthers, going 2-of-4 with one run batted in. Wright scored the lone Pitt runs of the game, going 1-of-3 on the afternoon.


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – In its 2016 home opener, the Penn State softball team fell twice to Hofstra in front of a Nittany Lion Softball Park and Beard Field record-breaking opening day crowd Saturday, Mar 19.

Penn State generated its highest opening day attendance with 659 fans in the crowd. Furthermore, the attendance marked the third-highest crowd in program history for the Nittany Lions. PSU was just a little over 100 fans shy of breaking the all-time attendance record of 768 set in the 2012 campaign.

The Nittany Lions (9-13) fell 15-8 in game one before losing 9-6 in game two in their first home games of the 2016 campaign. Penn State and Hofstra each tallied 11 hits in game one, while the Nittany Lions had just five hits compared to the Pride’s 10 in game two.

The match up between the two teams saw eight home runs on the day with Hofstra hitting six round-trippers and Penn State tallying two.

Senior Macy Jones (Ashburn, Va.) extended her hitting streak to 12 games, launching a home run in game one and going 2-for-4 with three RBI in game two. Also tallying multi-hit games were Toni Polk (Niagara Fall, N.Y.), Rebecca Ziegler (Tucson, Ariz.) and Lexi Knief (Ramsey, N.J.), who each had two hits in game one of the doubleheader.

Junior Marlaina Laubach (Northampton, Pa.) suffered the loss in game one, while Madison Seifert (Wildwood, Mo.) and Christy Von Pusch (Bryn Mawr, Pa.) both saw innings of relief. Jones got the nod in game two with her first decision of the season and both Jessica Cummings (Owings, Md.) Laubach tossed innings in relief for the Blue and White.

Game One: Hofstra 15, Penn State 8

The Nittany Lions got their bats going early in the bottom of the first inning with a Jones leadoff blast over the right field wall before Sorenson drew a walk and came around to touch home on a Polk single through the left side of the field.

Hofstra answered back in the top of the second inning loading the bases twice and scoring four runs on four hits to take the slight 4-2 lead heading into the bottom half of the inning.

Penn State used two-straight walks to put runners in scoring position in the bottom of the second inning before a hard-hit ball to second base from Jones allowed Knief score on the double play attempt from the Pride.

With one out and runners on second and third, Seifert came up with a big looking strikeout but the Nittany Lions were unable to escape the inning unscathed as a two out error allowed two runs to touch home and give Hofstra the 6-3 lead heading into the bottom of the third.

Hofstra extended its lead to 7-3 in the top of the fourth inning when Caryn Bailey singled up the middle to lead off the inning and came around to score on a Michaela Transue shallow single to center field.

A fielder’s choice put a runner on the basepath for Penn State before a single from Sorenson moved runners into scoring position. Miller dug in and laced a double through the left center to plate two runs for the Blue and White.

After Penn State closed the gap to just two runs, the Pride exploded for five runs on five hits to extend its lead to 12-5 in the top of the fifth.

The Blue and White rallied in the bottom of the fifth inning when Polk led things off with her first collegiate home run over the right field wall. Senior Erin Pond (Lagrange, Ohio) followed it up with a double through the left center gap and came around to score on a Knief double down the left field line to bring Penn State within five. The Nittany Lions were unable to push any further runs across the plate in the bottom of the fifth, trailing 12-7.

Penn State scored for the third-straight inning in the bottom of the sixth, but the Pride answered in the top of the seventh with three runs on two hits to lock up the 15-8 win over the Nittany Lions.

Game Two: Hofstra 9 Penn State 6

Penn State took the first lead of the game in the end of the doubleheader when a leadoff walk crossed the plate on a slow roller to second bases from Polk.

The Pride took the lead over Penn State in the top of the second inning using a lead off home run over the left center field wall before a bases loaded walk gave Hofstra the 2-1 lead with no outs.

Hofstra tacked on two more runs on its second home run of the game in the top of the third inning to extend its lead to 5-1 over the Blue and White. The Pride used their third round-tripper in the top of the fourth inning, taking the 6-1 advantage over Penn State.

The fourth homer of the game for the Pride went over the left field wall in the top of the fifth allowing them to extend its lead to 8-1.

The Nittany Lions closed the gap to four in the bottom of the sixth inning when Jones drove a bases loaded double off the center field wall to bring in three unearned runs for the Blue and White.

Penn State looked to claw its way back into the game in the bottom of the seventh as it trailed Hofstra, 9-4. The Nittany Lions used a lead off walk and an Alyssa VanDerveer (Hillsborough, N.J.) single up the middle to put runners into scoring position before a hit by pitch loaded the bases.

Ziegler hit a slow roller to short to bring in the Blue and White’s first run of the inning before a Furuya walk scored a second. Penn State was unable to push any further runs across the plate in the rally, falling 9-6 in the tail end of the doubleheader.

The Blue and White concludes its three-game series with the Pride Sunday, Mar. 20 at 1 p.m. in a single game at Nittany Lion Softball Park and Beard Field.

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