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Juniata softball unleashes its bats in sweep of Saint Vincent

(Posted March 25, 2010)

LATROBE, Pa. -- Hitless over her last eight games, Juniata College junior Melissa Moffat tried widening her stance in the batter's box in an effort to break her slump in the Eagles' Thursday afternoon doubleheader against Saint Vincent College.

Yeah, that did the trick all right.

Moffat (Oceanside, Calif./Oceanside) erupted for a 5-for-8 performance at the plate, including a two-run home run in game two of the twinbill, leading Juniata to a 9-1 and 8-0 sweep of Saint Vincent at the SVC Softball Field in Latrobe, Pa.

Moffat's grand day at the plate was part of a Juniata offensive onslaught that saw the Eagles outhit the Bearcats, 21-5.

Joining in the fireworks were junior Caley McCool (Spring Mills, Pa./Penns Valley) with a 6-for-8 effort, and freshman Jen O'Neill (Sayville, N.Y./Sayville) who went 3-for-3 in game one. Two of O'Neill's hits were round trippers: a three-run line drive over the right-center field fence that may - may - have gotten 20 feet in the air at its highest point, and a solo shot to lead off the sixth inning.

After O'Neill's blast to account for all three Juniata runs in the first inning of game one, the Eagles tacked on a single run in the third when Rachel Nagy (Nazareth, Pa./Nazareth) scored on a double steal of second and home.

Moffat keyed a four-run fifth inning for the Eagles with a two-run single to left-center, with RBI singles by Steph Frith (Pottstown, Pa./Pottsgrove) and Allison Gerlach (Mesa, Ariz./Marcos de Niza).

Saint Vincent's only run came in the bottom of the third, when Lynn Buffoni drew a lead-off walk and scored on Leanna Seminsky's double into center field.

Juniata starter Alyssa Erb (Hollidaysburg, Pa./Hollidaysburg) allowed just two hits, two walks, and two strikeouts over her six complete innings of work.

In game two's 8-0 shutout, Juniata posted all the runs they would need in the first inning. A Nagy single down the left field line plated Sarah Eckard (Hollidaysburg, Pa./Hollidaysburg), who reached on an infield base hit to third. Allison Gerlach, who also reached on a single, scored later in the frame on McCool's ground out to second base.

Moffat had a hand in Juniata's next five runs on the scoreboard. She plated Frith with a single to left field, and later scored on another double steal of home and second in the second inning, then reached on a bloop single in the third and eventually scored on a wild pitch.

Moffat plated two more runs for the Eagles in the fifth with a two-run blast to left center.

Juniata capped its scoring for the day in the top of the sixth, when Eckard allowed McCool to score on a sacrifice fly to left field.

Erb pitched all of game two as well, picking up her second shutout of the season. She allowed just two hits while striking out three and walking three, and improved her record to 5-4 with the two wins over the Bearcats.

Saint Vincent (5-5) starter Emily Lauterbauch was tagged for 13 hits in game two, and walked two while recording two strikeouts.

Juniata (8-5) opens Landmark Conference play this Saturday, March 27, when it faces Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. First pitch of game one of the doubleheader is scheduled for 12:00 p.m.

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