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Eagle softball reaches 20-win mark with doubleheader sweep of Penn State-Altoona

(Posted April 24, 2008)

ALTOONA, Pa. -- Juniata College used a pair of late-inning surges to take both ends of a doubleheader against Penn State-Altoona, in softball action Thursday afternoon in Altoona, Pa. The Eagles expanded a 1-0 lead with four runs in the sixth inning on their way to a 5-1 victory in game one, while Liz Schmitt's (Knoxville, Tenn./H. Frank Carey) bunt single in the seventh plated the game-winning run in an 8-7 come-from-behind victory in the second game. Juniata (20-15) scored one run in the third inning when Tara Carl's (Duke Center, Pa./Otto-Eldred) sacrifice fly to left field plated Amanda Albanese (Hampton, N.J./North Hunterdon). That 1-0 lead held up through the sixth inning, when the Eagles drove in some insurance runs. Stacy Nagy (Millerton, Pa./Troy) opened the frame with a single, and eventually scored on Rachel Nagy's (Nazareth, Pa./Nazareth) triple down the right field line. Rachel Nagy came home on Schmitt's single to third; three batters later, an Albanese single up the middle scored Schmitt. Jackie Morley (North Wales, Pa./Archbishop Wood), who got aboard with an error by Penn State-Altoona shortstop Megan Turiano, also scored on a Sarah Eckard (Hollidaysburg, Pa./Hollidaysburg) fielder's choice grounder. Juniata starter Alyssa Erb (Hollidaysburg, Pa./Hollidaysburg) struck out eight Lion batters while yielding four hits and two walks on her way to the win. In game two, Juniata held a 6-2 lead after three innings, but the Lions rallied to score five runs in fifth to take a 7-6 lead, with three runs scoring on a Cassie Lyle double to left field. A lead-off walk by Carl and a bunt single by Stacy Nagy opened the Juniata seventh, while Rachel Nagy moved the runners along with a sacrifice bunt. Schmitt then dropped a "suicide squeeze" bunt to score Carl for the game-tying run. Schmitt and Stacy Nagy pulled off a double-steal of second and home, to give the Eagles the lead. Erb then retired the side in the bottom of the seventh to let Juniata steal the win. Juniata's three-run second inning was keyed by Eckard's two-run single to center field, one of her two hits in game two. Melissa Moffat (Oceanside, Calif./Oceanside) went 2-for-3 at the plate, including a three-run home run in the third inning. Juniata will face Catholic University in its final Landmark Conference doubleheader on Saturday, April 26, in Washington, D.C. The Eagles need a pair of wins over the Cardinals to earn the fourth and final spot in the Landmark Conference Softball Tournament, which begins Saturday, May 3. -30-

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Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.