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Lady Lions Split With Mount Aloysius in Home Opener
4/4/2013 — ALTOONA, Pa. - After a layoff of over a month, Penn State Altoona softball resumed action on Thursday afternoon, opening its Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference schedule at home against rival Mount Aloysius College at Stewart Athletic Field. The Lady Lions came back in extra innings to win game one 4-3, then lost 6-5 to the Lady Mounties in game two.
Penn State Altoona was led by a strong pitching performance from Jackie Smith (Hollidaysburg, PA/Hollidaysburg) in game one. Smith went eight innings, yielding two earned runs and striking out five batters.
Both teams were locked in a defensive battle, going scoreless through seven innings. But the offense picked up in extra innings.
The Lady Mounties broke the tie with one swing of the bat in the top of the eighth, as Kaleigh Roop hit a three-run home run to left-center field to make it 3-0.
But the Lady Lions rallied in the bottom half of the eighth. Smith's single to left drove in the first run of the game for her team. Later in the frame, Gina Ricci (Garnet Valley, PA/Garnet Valley) knocked in a pair of runs with her single through the right side, tying the game 3-3.
Two batters later, Clarissa Keller (Spring Mills, PA/Penns Valley) came up with the decisive hit, scoring Ricci with a single to right to give Penn State Altoona a walkoff 4-3 win.
In game two, Mount Aloysius put a three-spot on the board in the top of the third inning to go up 3-0. After an error allowed one run to score, Jalisa Westover homered to center to bring plate two runs.
Ricci's RBI single to right-center put Penn State Altoona on the board in the bottom of the third.
But the Lady Mounties doubled their run total in the fourth, as Roop struck again with another three-run homer to make it 6-1.
The Lady Lions answered back with three runs in the bottom half of the inning. Ala Miller (Muncy, PA/Muncy) tripled to right to bring home two runs, and she later scored on a groundout to cut the visitors' lead to 6-4.
Penn State Altoona inched closer in the sixth when Amanda Brennan (Jefferson Hills, PA/Thomas Jefferson) hit a solo shot to center, making it 6-5.
But the Lady Lions could not muster any more offense in the seventh, as Mount Aloysius held on to win game two.
Photo (by Durant Harvin): Penn State Altoona freshman second baseman Gina Ricci swings during game one of Thursday's doubleheader against Mount Aloysius at Stewart Athletic Field.