Penn State DuBois softball closes out season in PSUAC playoffs

The softball team at Penn State DuBois gathering for a team photo during senior day festivities at Heindl Field

The softball team at Penn State DuBois gathering for a team photo during senior day festivities at Heindl Field

Credit: Penn State

DuBOIS, Pa. — The softball team at Penn State DuBois worked hard this season to continue upon a streak of qualifying for the PSUAC championship playoffs. Closing out the regular season with 11 wins and nine losses, the Lady Lions qualified for the conference playoffs as the number four overall seed. With back-to-back losses to Penn State Schuylkill, in dramatic fashion in both games, Penn State DuBois saw their season come to a close on Sunday in University Park.

After falling to Penn State Schuylkill in the first round of the playoffs, Penn State DuBois got a chance to turn that loss around when they played Schuylkill again on Sunday, this time at Beard Field at Nittany Lion Softball Park.

DuBois got on the scoreboard first as Hanna Richey stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded in the bottom of the first. A throwing error from the Schuylkill defense allowed Richey to reach base safely, and all her teammates to move up one base, bringing Caitlyn Watson home to score. Schuylkill wouldn’t stay down for long, responding back with three runs in the top of the second inning to take a 3-1 lead.

DuBois would capitalize again on a Schuylkill error in the bottom of the fourth as Makena Baney reached base on an error that allowed Larissa James-LaBranche to score. This trimmed the lead back to 3-2. The Lady Lions wouldn’t be done scoring, bringing home three runs in the bottom of the fifth via a single from Madison Siterak allowed Kelsey Stuart to score to tie the game. A few batters later, James-LaBranche singled herself to score both Siterak and Shyanne Lundy to give DuBois the lead again at 5-3. That is where the score would stay until the top of the seventh inning when Schuylkill’s bats came alive and pushed home four runs to take a 7-5 lead. Those four runs, along with the drastic change in momentum, would be too much for the Lady Lions to overcome and Schuylkill came away with the 7-5 win over DuBois. Stuart and Siterak each had two hits for DuBois, including a double for Stuart, while James-LaBranche had two RBIs for the Lady Lions to close out the season.

The team finished the year with an even record of 11 wins and 11 losses. However, that doesn’t really tell the whole story. Coming into the PSUAC playoffs, Penn State DuBois was on a streak that included eight wins in their last ten games, outscoring their opponents by 56 runs during that hot streak. Overall, for the season, the team hit for a batting average of .340 and scored 159 runs overall in the 22 games they played. Offensively, Richey, Watson, and Brianna Bone each hit at or over .400 for the season. Abby Pentz led the team in hits with 29 on the season, while Watson also led the team in RBIs with 26.

On the mound, three pitchers had an ERA for the season under 4.00, with a total team ERA on the season at 3.80. Stuart led the team in wins with five and strikeouts with 46. Defensively, the Lady Lions saw six players see game action this year that did not commit an error, helping the team to an overall fielding percentage of .940. The team also turned six double plays this season.

The end of the season also marked the end of the first season for Penn State DuBois under the leadership of head coach Jeff Tomb and his staff. Named the head coach in November, Tomb and his crew hit the ground running to help produce a positive season for the Lady Lions.

As a collective team we hit well and pitched well. We have to clean up some of the errors on defense next year.

—Jeff Tomb , Penn State DuBois softball head coach

“It really took us a little bit to get into our groove,” Tomb said. “I thought we played well in the conference, finishing fourth. As a collective team we hit well and pitched well. We have to clean up some of the errors on defense next year.”

While the Lady Lions are losing several players to graduation and players moving to other campuses, Tomb said he is excited about his team for next season.

“We have a great group coming in next year and should get better in all facets of the game,” Tomb said.

Two other points that Tomb said he feels will greatly benefit his team next season is having a fall season and a spring break trip to start the season. Both of those for various reasons were lacking this year. He also noted that he has already discussed with his team about not being selected for the USCAA small college world series this season and the team is going to use that as extra motivation for next season.

We will move forward, and we will get better!

—Jeff Tomb , Penn State DuBois softball head coach

“We will move forward, and we will get better!” Tomb said.

For complete athletic schedules, including changes to both the baseball and softball schedules, visit the Penn State DuBois athletic website at