BEPRE, Ohio – Buoyed by three top-10 finishes and big second rounds by two competitors, the Clarion men’s golf team shaved nine strokes off their first round score to take second place at the Ohio Valley Spring Championships, hosted at Oxbow Golf Club on Wednesday.
(Photo courtesy of Clarion Athletics)
Clarion saw three golfers finish in the top 10 overall over the course of two days, with two competitors shaving five or more strokes off their scores from the first day. Nathan Sandberg made the biggest move, climbing 11 spots on the leaderboard to tie teammate Loren Dukate for seventh overall. Sandberg knocked seven strokes off of his first-day score, shooting a sizzling 70 on Wednesday. Dukate was no slouch himself, jumping up eight spots on the leaderboard by carding a round of 71 that was five strokes better than his previous day’s performance.
Mitch Faulkner held mostly steady on day two, carding a round of 74 to take sixth overall with a two-day score of 146. Sean Edgar finished fourth on the team and 14th overall with a round of 76, giving him a 151 for the two rounds, and Joe Kerrigan carded a final day round of 79.
Place Name Rd. 1 Rd. 2 Final
6 Mitch Faulkner 72 74 146
T7 Nathan Sandberg 77 70 147
T7 Loren Dukate 76 71 147
T14 Sean Edgar 75 76 151
T25 Joe Kerrigan 78 79 157
Place School Rd. 1 Rd. 2 Final
1 Malone 281 294 575
2 Clarion 300 291 591
3 Ohio Valley 300 309 609
4 Virginia-Wise 300 315 615
5 West Virginia Wesleyan 319 302 621
6 Urbana 319 311 630
7 West Virginia State 324 307 631
8 Concord 317 319 636
9 Wheeling Jesuit 313 331 644
10 Glenville State 344 338 682
CUP SOFTBALL SWEPT BY SLIPPERY ROCK
CLARION, Pa. – The Clarion University softball team lost both games of a Wednesday doubleheader, falling 15-7 and 8-3 to Slippery Rock at Memorial Stadium. The losses move the Golden Eagles to 5-35 (1-11 PSAC) on the season. The Blue and Gold will return to action on April 21st when they head to Johnstown, Pa. for a doubleheader with Pitt-Johnstown.
Paige Baker got the nod in the circle in game one for the Blue and Gold and was eventually assigned the loss after Slippery Rock put up an offensive explosion in the opening frame of the game. Six runs off of six hits plus an error for SRU in the first left the Blue and Gold in a big hole to dig out of the rest of the afternoon.
Taylor Nonnenberg got the comeback started for Clarion in the bottom half of the first, smacking a leadoff triple to right field. Two at-bats later, second basemen Casey Wilcox managed a deep flyball to right that allowed Nonnenberg to tag up a score to cut the lead down to five.
Clarion continued the comeback attempt in the fourth, launching three hits for four runs. Autumn Babcock crushed a moonshot double before Alexis Boie cleared the bases with a double of her own a few moments later. Nonnenberg would add another RBI on a fielder’s choice before the end of the inning, however, it was SRU’s bats that could not be stopped as the game went on. The Rock added three each in the sixth and seventh to close things out a secure the win.
Game two followed a similar script, as Slippery Rock opened up a three-run lead in the first that put CU in the hole again early. After allowing a single and a walk to start the first, catcher Lauren Hawley cranked a three-run homer over the left-field wall to make it 3-0.
Wilcox added another RBI single in the bottom half of the first, however, it was about all the offense the Golden Eagles could muster. Starter Rachel Hoffman was strong through five innings, giving up just seven hits on the afternoon, however, SRU took advantage of some crafty base running to manufacture offense, stealing two bases and drawing five walks on the evening.
SRU added three more in the second before a pair in the sixth for good measure to seal its second win of the day.
PENN STATE SOFTBALL SWEEPS BUCKNELL
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Penn State softball team earned a two-game sweep of in-state foe Bucknell Wednesday, April 19 in a mid-week non-conference contest at Nittany Lion Softball Park and Beard Field.
The Nittany Lions were held to just three hits in game one before exploding for 11 hits in game two to mark the 10th time this season they have secured 10-or-more hits in a game. Penn State notched the 1-0 win in game two before coming from behind, 5-0, to take a 6-5 extra-inning victory in game two against the Bison.
PSU slowly closed the gap against the Bison starting in the bottom of the sixth inning, scoring two runs before adding three in the seventh to tie it and scoring the winning run in the bottom of the eighth.
“All of the sudden the energy was authentic,” commented head coach Amanda Lehotak. “I could feel that we were going to score runs, I don’t really know how to explain it and I didn’t necessarily expect it, but they did a great job. It’s all about the fight, we just keep fighting.”
Redshirt-sophomore Rebecca Ziegler (Tucson, Ariz.) propelled the Blue and White to victory, going 3-for-4 at the plate and bringing in the game-winning run, while Delaney Elling (Washington, Pa.) went 2-for-3 with three RBIs in game two. Freshman Christa Wagner (Plainville, Mass.) came into pinch hit in the bottom of the seventh inning and stayed in through the eighth inning, tallying two hits and scoring twice.
Senior Marlaina Laubach (Northampton, Pa.) garnered the win in game one throwing all seven innings, while Madison Shaffer (New Castle, Pa.) came on in relief in game two, tossing five innings and earning the victory in the circle.
Anna Gimmestad went 2-for-2 at the plate in game two and scored twice, while driving in one run and Meghan Kovac went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and one run. Reanne Geffert suffered the losses in both games, pitching the complete game in game one and coming on in relief in game two.
Game One: Penn State 1, Bucknell 0
In the first three innings of play, the Bison put runners on third base three times with two outs but the Nittany Lion defense recorded the outs they needed in order to keep the game scoreless through four innings of action.
After five innings of scoreless softball, Ziegler drew a walk and came around to touch home on a Toni Polk (Niagara Falls, N.Y.) triple off the right field line wall. The lone run proved to be all the Nittany Lions needed in the 1-0 game.
Laubach continued to be dominant in the circle for the Blue and White, throwing all seven innings and giving up just five hits in her team-leading ninth win of the season. Polk led the Nittany Lions in game one with two hits and one RBI, while Shelby Miller (Sugar Land, Texas) tallied the only other hit in the game for Penn State.
Game Two: Penn State 6, Bucknell 5 (8 innings)
The Bison quickly got on the scoreboard in the top of the first inning with a two-run home run over the left field wall and bringing in its third run of the game on an outfield error.
Bucknell used its second home run of the game, this time a solo home run with no outs, to take the 4-0 lead in the top of the third inning over the Blue and White.
Penn State tried to get some offense going in the bottom of the fourth inning with back-to-back singles to the left side of the field but Bucknell was able to retire the next three batters to close out the inning before a run was plated.
An error and a double into deep center field brought in the fifth run of the game for the Bison and extended their lead to 5-0 in the top of the sixth inning. Penn State answered in the bottom of the sixth when Miller singled up the middle and Elling hit her third home run of the season over the left field fence to bring the Blue and White within three.
A leadoff single from Wagner and a single through the right side from Ziegler put runners on the corners with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning. An error from the Bison with one out allowed one run to score before Penn State loaded the bases with one out on the board. Miller stepped in and was hit by a pitch to bring the Nittany Lions within one. Elling came up big for the second time in game when she laced a single through the left side of the infield to bring in the tying run and force extra innings.
The Nittany Lions held off Bucknell in the top of the eighth inning when Wagner started a rally for the second time in two innings laying down a bunt single between third and the pitcher and made her way to second on a groundout. Following a strikeout, Ziegler stepped in and ripped a single through the infield to score a Wagner from second and lead Penn State to a 6-5 extra-inning victory.
The Nittany Lions will be back in action Friday, April 21 for a three-game series against the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers. The Blue and White will kick off the series at 6 p.m. at Nittany Lion Softball Park and Beard Field.
PITT BASEBALL FALLS TO KENT STATE
PITTSBURGH – The University of Pittsburgh baseball team fell to Kent State in a mid-week contest on Wednesday, 12-8 at Charles L. Cost Field. Senior P.J. DeMeo and redshirt senior Jacob Wright each homered in the outing as a 15-hit performance from the Golden Flashes proved the deciding factor.
The Panthers scored eight runs on six hits, but Kent State’s offense was carried by 15 hits and three multiple-run innings to propel them to victory.
Pitt (16-18, 7-11 ACC) fell to 2-3 in mid-week contests this season and 0-2 against the Golden Flashes (21-12, 7-2 MAC) this year.
The Panthers used seven different pitchers in the ballgame. Sophomore Tyler Garbee received the most work, pitching 2.1 innings and was the recipient of the loss.
Kent State put up a three spot in the top half of the first inning to take the early lead. After reaching by a hit by pitch to start the inning, the Golden Flashes strung together three straight singles. With two outs, a wild pitch scored Kent State’s third run of the inning. Adam Cornwell walked the batter at the plate and was relieved after 0.2 innings pitched in his first career start as a Panther. Garbee came into the game in relief in the first inning and retired the first batter he saw to end the inning.
The Golden Flashes added to their lead after shortstop John Matthews began the inning with a double. Matthews reached third on a groundout and scored on the ensuing at-bat, another groundball. Garbee influenced his third straight ground ball out to end the inning, but not before Kent State stretched their lead to 4-0.
The Panthers drew even in the bottom half of the second inning. Junior Nick Banman walked to begin the frame. DeMeo doubled off the left field wall and freshman Alex Amos singled up the middle to drive in two runs. With two outs and Amos on second, a walk, a hit by pitch and two walks with the bases loaded helped Pitt tie the game 2-2 after two frames. Sophomore Yaya Chentouf and redshirt junior Frank Maldonado were each credited with a run batted in from the walks.
Sophomore Alex Griffith walked to begin the bottom of the third inning. Griffith advanced to second on a groundout, and to third on a wild pitch with freshman Nico Popa at-bat. Popa walked to then make it runners on the corners with two outs. Popa then stole second, forcing a throw from catcher Pete Schuler that sailed into the outfield, allowing Griffith to score and put Pitt in the lead, 5-4.
The lead didn’t last for long, as Kent State climbed back in front 9-5 with a five-run showing in the fourth inning, led by five doubles in the frame. Junior TJ Pagan came into relief and recorded all three outs of the inning and was charged with a run.
DeMeo helped cut into the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning, when he hit a home run over the left field wall. The solo shot cut the lead to 9-6 and was DeMeo’s third home run of the season.
Kent State first baseman Dylan Ross hit a two-run shot off freshman hurler RJ Freure in the top of the sixth inning to extend the Golden Flashes lead to 11-6. A pair of singles, with a wild pitch sprinkled in between helped push Kent State’s 12th run across.
Redshirt junior pitcher Dan Furman tossed 1.0 innings in relief, a season-high. He allowed just one hit in a scoreless seventh inning. Senior Sam Mersing recorded two strikeouts in a scoreless eighth inning while junior pitcher Isaac Mattson turned the same feat in the ninth inning with two strikeouts and no runs allowed.
The Panthers chipped the lead down to 12-8 in the eighth inning after Wright hit a two-run home run to right field, his third home run of the season.
After opening their nine-game home stand on Wednesday, Pitt will welcome fourth-ranked North Carolina to the friendly confines of Charles L. Cost Field for a three-game series with games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The series opener is set for 6:00 p.m. on Friday, April 21.
JAMES TO THROW OUT FIRST PITCH AT SATURDAY’S PENN STATE BASEBALL GAME
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Former Nittany Lion football standout and current member of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Jesse James, will help bring the Blue-White excitement across the street from Beaver Stadium to Medlar Field at Lubrano Park Saturday, as he will throw out the first pitch prior to Penn State’s Big Ten baseball game against Northwestern scheduled for 6 p.m.
Following his perfect strike, James will sign autographs for Nittany Lion fans during the first three innings of the game. The Lions will also look to White Out the Wildcats, giving away white shakers while supplies last and encouraging fans to wear white. Fans will also receive a limited edition, numbered Penn State Football print that features some of the greatest moments from the thrilling 2016 season, then one number will be chosen during the game to select a lucky fan who will win a football autographed by members of the Blue-White football roster.
Fans not attending the Blue-White football game prior to baseball are encouraged to access Lot 44 by heading Northbound on Porter Road and turning into lots south of Beaver Stadium between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Baseball fans are advised to allow plenty of time to get to the field and note that many roads, including Porter Road, will be turned into a one-way exit for football traffic. Gates at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park will open at 4:30 p.m.
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