McKeesport, PA. – The #3 seed Penn State Greater Allegheny Softball team (16-9, 14-6) starts their 2018 playoff run with a matchup against #2 seed Penn State Beaver (22-13, 15-5) on Friday at 4 p.m. PSUGA is competing for their first ever Penn State University Athletic Conference Title as they make the tournament for only the second time in the last 17 seasons.
PSUGA ended their regular season on a high note when they defeated PSU-Fayette 10-1 in the second game of a doubleheader. After a comeback effort fell just short in game one of the doubleheader, they were able to use their momentum from game one and put up a lot of runs to secure the victory in the second game.
Greater Allegheny jumped out to an early 8-0 lead through two innings including scoring five runs in the bottom of the 2nd. Rachel Able (Pataskla, OH./Watkins Memorial High) started the inning bringing in two runs on a bases loaded double and Hailey Snyder (Connellsville, PA./Connellsville) brought home three more runs, including herself on a 2 RBI triple and an error that allowed Snyder to come home and score.
The early offense was more then enough for PSUGA starting pitcher Lacie Lautner (Pleasant Hills, PA./Thomas Jefferson) who pitched the complete game giving up just the one run on three hits while striking out seven batters. The reigning PSUAC pitcher of the week has been on a roll going 4-0 in her last four starts and not walking a batter over that span.
Snyder would finish the afternoon driving in two more runs on a two RBI single to enforce the eight-run rule and give PSUGA the 10-1 victory. Snyder had a big day at the plate going 1-3 with three RBI and Able finished 1-2 with two RBI. Morgan Greely (Roulette, PA./Port Allegheny HS) was the only PSUGA player to finish with multiple hits going 2-2 and scoring three of her teams 10 runs.
The win finished off a historic regular season for the PSUGA Softball program that saw them break the franchise record for wins in a season (16) and conference wins in a season (14). PSUGA is in the playoffs for the first time since the 2014 season when they fell to PSU-Brandywine in the second round of the playoffs.
PSU-Beaver is coming in on a down note after dropping the tie-breaker game for the number one seed in the West Division to PSU-Fayette 2-1. It was an evenly matched contest with neither team getting on the board until Beaver broke through in the top of the 5th to grab a 1-0 lead. However, two runs in the bottom of the sixth for PSU-Fayette completed the comeback and awarded them the #1 seed. Dina Cable led the way for Beaver going 2-3 while the only run in the game was driven in by Brittany Zahn, who went 1-3 with one RBI.
The season series ended up going PSU-Beaver’s way with them sweeping the four-game series with wins of 11-9, 6-2, 11-0, and 6-3. Beaver owns the all-time series going 16-2 against PSUGA since the 2010 season, however, PSUGA has momentum coming into this matchup and the fire and passion needed to make a long run.
First pitch for Friday’s single, seven-inning, game is scheduled for 4 p.m. on the campus of PSU-Beaver. The winner will advance to the final four at University Park at Beard Field as they fight for the first PSUAC Championship in franchise history.