DuBOIS, Pa. – There are two things that you can count on when it comes to the baseball and softball seasons in Pennsylvania, weather related changes and games coming fast and often when the weather finally allows games to be played. The latter is what the baseball and softball teams at Penn State DuBois went through this week, with the baseball team playing seven games and the softball team playing six games in the past week. While it made for a very busy week, both teams got positive results, which is important as they continue their push toward the PSUAC playoffs.
The softball team's week featured a full slate of home games starting with a visit from Penn State Fayette for a double header at Heindl Field. In the first game, the Lady Lions got their offense going early, scoring five runs in the first two innings. That gave starting pitcher Megan Hyde all she needed, as she scattered 10 hits over seven innings of work while allowing only two runs and striking out five on the way to getting the win, with DuBois coming out on top by a final score of 7-2. Madison Siterak led DuBois offensively with three hits in game one. She also drove in two runs and scored three runs herself. While game one of the day was exciting for all the offense that the Lady Lions had going, game two was exciting for another reason. Kelsey Stuart got the start for DuBois in game two, and while the Lady Lions picked up the first run of the game in the third inning, Fayette would come back strong with three runs in the top of the fourth to take the lead at 3-1. In the bottom half of the fourth, Larissa James-LaBranche doubled to score Paige Pleta to make it a one-run game that would last until the bottom of the seventh inning. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh, Stuart stepped up to the plate and hit a two-run single to give DuBois the walk-off win by a final score of 4-3.
Riding this high, the Lady Lions welcomed Penn State Hazleton for another PSUAC doubleheader. In the first game, DuBois couldn’t quite match the offensive output it had seen earlier in the week as the team scattered six hits and only pushed across two runs. Hazleton got timely hitting and a strong pitching performance to take game one by a score of 4-2. Siterak had another multi-hit day for DuBois with three hits that brought in both runs in the game for the Lady Lions. In game two, the offense switched ends of the field and it was DuBois' turn to bring home the runs. Scoring two runs right away in the bottom of the first, the Lady Lions never looked back and brought home a shutout victory over Hazleton by a final score of 5-0. Stuart got the start on the mound and went the distance for DuBois, giving up only five hits through seven innings while striking out five and only walking two batters. She also drove in two RBIs on two hits in the win as well.
Penn State DuBois then looked to keep the good times, and the offense rolling, when Penn State Scranton came for a visit on Saturday for senior day. The Lady Lions would do just that, as game one of the day saw them score a single run in both the first and second innings before exploding for six runs in the third and seven runs in the fourth, on their way to winning game one by a final score of 15-1 in five innings. Abby Pentz, Megan Hyde and Brianna Bone each had three hits for the Lady Lions, while Makena Baney drove in four RBIs in game one. The offense continued to roll in game two, with the Lady Lions scoring 21 runs on 22 hits in another five-inning game. This was combined with a stellar pitching performance from Bone, who pitched the full game for DuBois, allowing only one hit and four walks while striking out five Scranton hitters in the 21-0 shutout win for DuBois. This win closed out a five-win week for the Lady Lions that helped get their record back to 8-8 on the season and an 8-6 conference record in the PSUAC.
Walk-off wins were something that both the softball team and the baseball team both featured this week. To add a bit of extra drama, the baseball team decided to have its walk off in extra innings to start off the week. The Nittany Lions hosted Houghton College for a nonconference doubleheader, with game one having the excitement in DuBois. After a pitcher’s duel that saw a scoreless game through the first eight innings, with seven innings being regulation, Bryce Dobson started off the bottom of the ninth inning with a walk. That was followed by Tyler Yough reaching on an error that moved Dobson up to second base. A sacrifice from Austin Mitchell moved both runners up 90 feet with one out. Cory Lehman then stepped up and got the big hit that the Nittany Lions needed, a single that brought Dobson home from third and got Penn State DuBois the win in game one with a walk-off 1-0 win. Game two, however, would see the offense for Houghton come to life and both the pitching and defense struggled for the Nittany Lions. Allowing 13 hits and having three errors in the game doomed DuBois, as Houghton scored three runs in the first inning before adding more in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings, on the way to a 10-1 win in game two.
DuBois looked to get back on the winning track when it traveled to visit Penn State Beaver in the first half of a home-and-home series over the weekend. After scoring single runs each in the top of the second and third innings in game one, the Nittany Lion offense got a crocked number in the fourth when they pushed home three runs. But that wasn’t the big offensive effort in this game. That came in the sixth inning when DuBois pushed across 10 runs to help them secure a 15-0 victory in game one. Brett Beith had a big game offensively with three hits, including a double, four RBIs and scored three times in the win. Zach Tiracorda got the win and went the distance for DuBois, allowing just three hits and striking out six. Game two saw the offense pick up right where it left off with the Nittany Lions scoring in each of the first five innings, including multiple runs in the second, third and fourth. Taylor Boland got the start for DuBois and only allowed one run on one hit and struck out five Beaver batters, helping the Nittany Lions to a 12-1 win in game two.
Penn State Beaver then made the trip to Showers Field for the second half of the home-and-home series, finishing off with a doubleheader on Saturday. Not much changed from the day before as the Nittany Lion offense scored early and often picked up two more wins in PSUAC play. After a scoreless first inning in game one, DuBois scored 10 runs in the bottom of the second inning to take a lead that they would never relinquish. Tylor Herzing put in a great offense effort, driving in four RBIs on two hits, including a double, and scored twice in the game as well, with one of those times being on a three-run home run from Colby Bodtorf in the bottom of the fourth inning. DuBois would win game one by a final score of 22-2. Penn State DuBois closed out the four-game series with Penn State Beaver with another win in game two by a final score of 11-0. Brandon Sicheri had two hits in game two, including a solo home run in the bottom of the third inning. Christian Hopp got the win for the Nittany Lions, pitching four innings, allowing only one hit and striking out four.
Penn State DuBois then closed out the week by traveling to visit Westminster for a single, nine inning game, which they won by a final score of 4-2. With this win, the Nittany Lions’ record stands at 17-12 on the season, including an 11-5 conference mark.
Both the baseball and softball teams will return to action over the weekend. For softball, the Lady Lions will travel first to visit Penn State Beaver on Saturday for a doubleheader with the first game scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. The team will then head to visit Penn State New Kensington for another doubleheader on Sunday, with game one scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. For the baseball team, the Nittany Lions will take part in another home-and-home series, this time with Penn State New Kensington. Penn State DuBois will travel to Penn State New Kensington on Saturday for a doubleheader. The first game is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. Then on Sunday, New Kensington will travel to DuBois to finish off the series with another doubleheader, with game one scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Sunday will also mark senior day for the baseball team as well. The Nittany Lions then are scheduled to travel to Clarion University on Tuesday for a single game that will begin at 4 p.m.
All games for both the baseball and softball teams are subject to change based on weather and field conditions. Games can also be added, cancelled or changed based on team availability, player availability and scheduling conflicts when conference games are rescheduled. For complete athletic schedules, including changes to both the baseball and softball schedules, visit the Penn State DuBois athletic website at psuduboisathletics.com.