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Juniata softball takes two off Wilson

(Posted March 31, 2010)

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa -- Juniata College used a pair of big innings to capture game one and then pieced together a single run late in game two to sweep a non-conference softball doubleheaders off Wilson College, 13-5 and 7-6, Wednesday afternoon in Chambersburg, Pa.

The wins improved Juniata's record to 11-6 overall, while Wilson fell to 8-6. Juniata senior Alyssa Erb (Hollidaysburg, Pa./Hollidaysburg) scattered five hits and fanned seven Wilson batters to pick up the win in game one, including three innings of no-hit pitching to open the contest. She improved her record to 7-4.

She then came on in the fifth inning of game two in relief of starter Stacy Nagy (Millerton, Pa./Troy), and struck out five while allowing three hits to pick up her first save of the season. Nagy improved to 4-2 with the win, after allowing five runs, two earned, on seven hits and one walk over four-and-one-thirds innings of work.

The Eagles smacked out four runs in the top of the first, after the first Juniata batters all reached on errors. Jen O'Neill (Sayville, N.Y./Sayville) plated three runs after crushing a home run over the left field fence for her fourth round-tripper of the season.

Juniata eventually added five insurance runs in the seventh inning. Allison Gerlach (Mesa, Ariz./Marcos de Niza) keyed the frame with her two-run single to right field, while Tessa Sternbach (Jersey City, N.J./Hudson County Tech) and Sarah Eckard (Hollidaysburg, Pa./Hollidaysburg) each stroked RBI singles. Amanda Gerlach (Mesa, Ariz./Marcos de Niza) plated an additional run with a sacrifice fly line drive to center field.

Wilson had a three-run uprising in the fourth, led by Brittany Biondi's two-run triple to right, and added two more in the fifth, but fell short of catching the Eagles.

O'Neill went 4-for-5 at the plate for the Eagles, while Eckard had four hits in six at bats, and Allison Gerlach enjoyed a 3-for-4 day at the place. Caley McCool (Spring Mills, Pa./Penns Valley) and Steph Frith (Pottstown, Pa./Pottsgrove) each had a pair of hits.

In game two, Melissa Moffat's (Oceanside, Calif./Oceanside) flared single to right center scored Rachel Nagy (Nazareth, Pa./Nazareth) from third, and that proved to be the difference in a 7-6 win for the Eagles.

The Eagles played catch-up for much of the contest, after Wilson put up three runs in the bottom of the first to take a 3-1 lead. Nicole Musser's two-run double to left field sparked the Wilson first, with Maggie Sipps driving in Musser with a single up the middle.

A McCool single up the middle in the third scored Amanda Gerlach to cut the margin to 3-2, and the Eagles took the lead for good with four runs in the top of the fourth to take a 6-3 lead.

Frith and Eckard opened the frame by getting aboard with a single and a throwing error by the catcher, and Allison Gerlach grounded out to short to score Frith. Eckard crossed on Amanda Gerlach's lined single into right center field, and Rachel Nagy moved the runners around with a base hit. McCool drove in Rachel Nagy and Amanda Gerlach with a single to right center.

Wilson answered with single runs in the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings, cutting the Juniata lead to 6-5.

After Moffat plated a seventh Juniata run in the top of the sixth, Wilson cut the margin back to one run with a single run in the bottom of the inning. Leigh Roche reached on a lead-off single down the left field line, and later scored on Tara Fields' single into center field.

Wilson threatened the Juniata lead in the bottom of the seventh, when Megan Roadcap struck a single into left center. Roche was unable to keep the rally alive, grounding out to short to give Juniata the win and the sweep.

Rachel Nagy had a 3-for-5 day at the plate, while Amanda Gerlach, McCool, Moffat, and Frith each recorded a pair of hits.

Juniata returns to action on Saturday, April 3, when it makes its home opener against Landmark Conference rival Drew University at 1:00 p.m. on Weaver Park Field.

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