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Juniata softball swept by Susquehanna in Landmark doubleheader

(Posted April 14, 2009)

SELINSGROVE, Pa. -- Juniata College was held to one run on five hits over two games against Susquehanna University, as the Crusaders swept Juniata, 1-0 and 4-1, in a Landmark Conference softball doubleheader on Tuesday at Sassafras Fields.

Juniata's (17-9, 4-4 Landmark) lone run of the day came in the sixth inning of game two, as Sarah Eckard (Hollidaysburg, Pa./Hollidaysburg) belted the first home run of her collegiate career to lead off the frame.

The Eagles tried to rally in the seventh inning, after Caley McCool (Spring Mills, Pa./Penns Valley) drew a lead off walk, and moved to second on a base hit by Jackie Morley (North Wales, Pa./Archbishop Wood). Eckard loaded up the bases with two outs, after she was hit by a pitch from Susquehanna's Cara Swerdlow, but a pop up to second base ended the rally.

Susquehanna (14-11, 6-2 Landmark) scored twice in the second inning, with one run crossing on a Kelli Holota single and another on Bryn Whitmire's RBI grounder to first base. Two more Crusader runs crossed in the fifth, giving Susquehanna a 4-0 lead, off of two hits and a pair of Juniata errors.

Juniata starter Pam Heinrichs (Spring Mills, Pa./Penns Valley) took the loss for Juniata; she allowed all four runs, only one of which was earned, on seven hits with two strikeouts and no walks over her five complete innings of work. Reliever Pam Mansell (Centre Hall, Pa./Penns Valley) came on in the sixth to finish out the game.

Swerdlow fanned nine Juniata batters on her way to the complete game victory, while scattering three hits and allowing four walks.

Game one was a pitching duel, with Swerdlow again going the distance for Susquehanna and striking out 12 Eagles in a two-hit performance.

Juniata starter Alyssa Erb (Hollidaysburg, Pa./Hollidaysburg) held the Crusaders bats in check with just four hits and no walks against five strikeouts, but two of the hits came in the third inning when Susquehanna scored the game's only run. Whitmire got aboard in the third with a one-out double to right center, and scored on Lisa Finizio's base hit to right center.

Juniata's best scoring opportunity came in the fourth inning, when Tara Carl (Duke Center, Pa./Otto-Eldred) got aboard with a single, and advanced to second on the sacrifice by Stacy Nagy (Millerton, Pa./Troy). Carl got as far as third base on a Rachel Nagy (Nazareth, Pa./Nazareth) grounder, but a line drive to the Susquehanna shortstop for the third out ended the inning.

Juniata will return to action on Sunday, April 19, when it travels to Kings Point, N.Y., for a Landmark Conference doubleheader against the United States Merchant Marine Academy. That doubleheader is a make-up date from the originally scheduled date of April 11, after inclement weather on Long Island forced a postponement.

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