DuBOIS, Pa. — As the end of the regular season draws near, the baseball and softball teams at Penn State DuBois head into this week knowing that they both will be heading to the PSUAC playoffs. Even with playoff berths being secured, there are still some key games left to be played in the regular season for both teams.
Coming off jam-packed weeks for both teams, baseball and softball played just one double header each, both playing Penn State New Kensington on Sunday.
On the softball field, Penn State DuBois traveled to take on Penn State New Kensington for two divisional games in the PSUAC. Game one could easily be described as a typical back and forth affair. After a scoreless first three innings, the Lady Lions got the scoring started in the fourth when Jordan Bundy singled to bring home Larissa James-LaBranche. New Kensington responded right away with three runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning. DuBois then brought the game back to its end and scored three runs of their own in the top half of the fifth. New Kensington responded back once again and tied the game at four by scoring a single run in the bottom half of the fifth. That is where the score stood through the end of regulation. In the top of the eighth, DuBois took the lead again when Megan Hyde scored on a sac fly from Caitlyn Watson. Later in the inning, Abby Pentz also drove in a run with a single that allowed Bundy to score. Penn State DuBois went on to win the game in eight innings by a final score of 6-4. Bundy and Kelsey Stuart each had three hits in the game, with Bundy also driving in two RBIs. Hyde and Stuart each pitched four innings in the game, with Stuart picking up the extra innings win. Stuart allowed two hits and two walks in her four innings of work while also striking out five batters.
Game two saw New Kensington’s offense come out strong and build a lead, scoring seven runs in the first three innings. While DuBois scored two runs in the top of the third, the Lady Lions still trailed in the contest 7-2. That lead would not be enough, however, as DuBois caught fire in the top of the fourth, scoring five runs of their own to tie the game at seven heading into the fifth inning. Despite momentum seeming to be on DuBois’ side, the lead would once again move to New Kensington in the bottom of the fifth when they scored two runs to take the lead 9-7. That would end up being the final score and New Kensington took game two on the day. Pentz, James-LaBranche, Hanna Richey and Brianna Bone each had two hits for DuBois in game two. Richey also had three RBIs in the game offensively.
Moving to the baseball diamond, Penn State DuBois played host to Penn State New Kensington at Showers Field on Sunday. Game one of the day started out as another back-and-forth affair, as New Kensington scored two runs right away in the top of the first before DuBois got one back in the bottom half. New Kensington added another run to their lead in the top of the third, but DuBois responded right back with two runs of their own in the bottom half, and the game when to the fourth inning all tied at three. It was in the bottom half of the fourth when the Nittany Lion offense started to get rolling, scoring three runs in the fourth and three more in the fifth. Those six runs would prove to be too much for New Kensington to overcome and DuBois went on to win game one by a score of 9-3. Brett Beith and Bryce Dobson led the way offensively for the Nittany Lions, each having two hits and two RBIs in the win. Zach Tiracorda got the start for DuBois, going six innings, giving up nine hits, four walks and three runs while striking out five batters. Cole Knable came into the game for the final inning of work on the mound, not allowing a hit in the seventh inning.
In game two, the Nittany Lion offense picked up right where they left off in the first game, as Penn State DuBois came out hot and scored eight runs in the bottom of the first. That gave starting pitcher Taylor Boland more than enough to work with. The righty worked four innings, allowing only three hits, one walk and one run on the day. He also struck out seven New Kensington batters on his way to the win, as that single run would be all that New Kensington could muster and DuBois completed the two-game sweep on the day, winning the second game by a final of 11-1 in five innings. Beith, Grant Lillard, Cory Lehman and Tyler Yough each recorded two hits for the Nittany Lions, with Lillard also driving home three RBIs in the win. Samuel Cheng came in to relieve Boland for the fifth inning on the mound. Cheng only allowed one hit and had a strikeout in the inning of work.
Both teams recently held their senior day festivities, where student athletes that are graduating or moving on to another campus were recognized. The softball team held their senior day on April 15 between game one and game two of the double header against Penn State Scranton.
The baseball team held their senior day on Sunday prior to game one against Penn State New Kensington.
Both teams will close out their regular seasons this week before they advance to PSUAC playoff action this weekend. For the softball team, they will travel to play Penn State Beaver for a double header on Tuesday. First pitch for game one is scheduled for 2 p.m. These two games are important for both DuBois and Beaver as both teams have qualified for the conference playoffs but seedings are still being determined for both teams. The outcome of these games could see either team rise as high as the fourth seed in the PSUAC playoffs or fall as low as the sixth seed. The results of these two games, and possibly several tie breakers, will determine who will hold the fourth, fifth and sixth seeds between DuBois, Beaver and Penn State Schuylkill, who has already completed their regular season.
Penn State DuBois baseball knows exactly what seed they are and where they will be playing their opening game in the PSUAC playoffs. Before they get to that point this weekend, the Nittany Lions will close out their regular season with games on Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday will see the team travel to visit Penn State New Kensington for a conference doubleheader. The first game is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. Then, DuBois will travel to visit Clarion University on Wednesday. This will be a single game that is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m.
The baseball championships in the PSUAC are divided into east and west divisions. Penn State DuBois will be the number two seed in the west division, with Penn State Mont Alto being the one seed and Penn State Fayette being the three seed. Games in each division are hosted by the number one seed, so DuBois will head to Mont Alto to open the playoffs. DuBois will take on Fayette on Friday in an elimination play-in game at Mont Alto. The winning team from the elimination play-in games in each division not only moves on to play the number one seed on Saturday, which would be Mont Alto for the winner of the game between DuBois and Fayette, the elimination game winning team also secures a place to play in championship weekend on May 7-8 as well. But the first task for DuBois will be winning the play-in game against Fayette.
For complete athletic schedules, including changes to both the baseball and softball schedules, visit the Penn State DuBois athletic website at psuduboisathletics.com.