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LANDMARK SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT: Softball's Landmark tourney run ends with second loss of the day to Susquehanna

(Posted May 3, 2009)

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- The Juniata College softball dropped a 3-2 decision to Susquehanna University in the second of its two elimination bracket games on Saturday in the 2009 Landmark Conference Softball Tournament, bringing Juniata's season to a close with its second loss of the day to the Crusaders.

In its first elimination bracket game, Juniata knocked Catholic University out of the tournament with a 2-0 victory over the Cardinals at Moravian College's Blue & Grey Field.

After dropping a 5-1 decision to Susquehanna on Saturday in an opening round game that had been delayed from Friday due to an unplayable field, Juniata ousted Catholic from the tournament with two runs on four hits.

The Eagles plated one run in the third inning when Sarah Eckard (Hollidaysburg, Pa./Hollidaysburg) opened the frame with a leadoff single, and went to second on Stacy Nagy's (Millerton, Pa./Troy) sacrifice bunt and over to third on a wild pitch. She eventually scored on Tara Carl's (Duke Center, Pa./Otto-Eldred) grounder to short.

Juniata added another run in the fourth when Jackie Morley (North Wales, Pa./Archbishop Wood) reached on a fielder's choice with her bunt, and later scored on a two-out Denalyn Spratt (Haddon Heights, N.J./Haddon Heights) grounder that was mishandled by Catholic third baseman Megan Covert.

Eagle starter Pam Heinrichs (Spring Mills, Pa./Penns Valley) scattered four hits with two strikeouts on her way to her 10th complete game win of the season. Catholic's Stacie Goddard allowed the two Juniata runs on four hits, and did not record a strikeout on the Eagles.

After defeating the Cardinals, Juniata had to come right back and face Susquehanna in its third game of the day.

Susquehanna ended Juniata's season in the bottom of the seventh, on Laurie Blaszka's walk-off single up the middle. That scored Brennan Balfour, who reached on a single to left field to open the seventh, and broke a 2-2 tie to give the Crusaders the win.

The two teams traded a pair of runs in the first inning. Juniata got on the board first, when Eckard reached on a lead off single, and crossed on Carl's single to third. Melissa Moffat's (Oceanside, Calif./Oceanside) base hit to left field plated Carl, putting the Eagles up 2-0 halfway through the first inning.

The Crusaders knotted the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the frame on Blaszka's two-run home run to left field, scoring Gretchen Halsey.

Juniata's Alyssa Erb (Hollidaysburg, Pa./Hollidaysburg) fanned six Crusader batters, but allowed three earned runs on eight hits and took the loss to fall to 14-8. Susquehanna's Bryn Whitmire yielded eight hits with only three strikeouts, but held Juniata to just two runs.

The Eagles close out their 2009 season with a 24-13 record, Juniata's second 20-win season in as many years, and setting a new record for the most wins in a season.

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