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Softball upended by Lebanon Valley in home opener

(Posted March 17, 2011)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College softball made its 2011 home debut on Thursday at Weaver Park Field, dropping both ends of a doubleheader to Lebanon Valley College.

The Eagles fell 6-0 in game one against the Flying Dutchmen, and lost game two, 10-3.

In game one, Juniata (2-8) was held to just three hits by Leb Val career strikeouts leader Laura Snyder, who fanned 10 Eagles with no walks in the complete game win.

Junior shortstop Kelsey Shutt (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin), junior third baseman Amanda Gerlach (Mesa, Ariz./Marcos de Niza), and junior centerfielder Allison Gerlach (Mesa, Ariz./Marcos de Niza) accounted for Juniata's three hits in the game, all singles.

Lebanon Valley (6-3) broke through with four runs in the fourth inning, keyed by Chelsea Kehr's two-run triple to center field.

Juniata starter Kelsea Decker (Waynesboro, Pa./Waynesboro Area) scattered six Leb Val hits while yielding six earned runs, with five strikeouts and four walks.

After Leb Val took a 2-0 lead in the first inning of game two of the twinbill, Juniata responded with two runs in the bottom of the frame. Shutt got aboard with a single, and Amanda Gerlach drew a walk to put two Eagle runners aboard. Meghan Decker (Waynesboro, Pa./Waynesboro Area) stroked a double into left field to score Shutt, and Rachel Smith (Martinsburg, Pa.) plated Gerlach with a single through the left side.

Lebanon Valley added four runs in the top of the second, two of those coming off a Steffani Secola home run, and tacked on single runs in the third and fifth innings.

Juniata answered with one run in the bottom of the fifth when Amanda Gerlach singled home pinch hitter Dana Relation (Lyon Mountain, N.Y./Seton Catholic Central).

Eagle starter Mason Kersey (Charles Town, W.Va./St. John's Catholic) went the distance for Juniata, allowing all 10 runs on 10 hits with five strikeouts. Leb Val's Kristen Palmerio allowed Juniata's three runs on six hits, with two walks and eight strikeouts.

Juniata plays its next two doubleheaders on the road, starting with Saturday's clash with Penn State Harrisburg at 1:00 p.m. The Eagles will travel to Penn State Altoona on Tuesday, Mar. 22, before returning home on Saturday, Mar. 26, to open Landmark Conference play against Catholic University.

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