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JUNIATA SOFTBALL CLAIMS CRITICAL DOUBLEHEADER SWEEP

(Posted April 19, 2004)

Amber Helsel ripped her first home run of the season to break a 3-3 and help Juniata to a 5-3 victory in the second game of Juniata\'s doubleheader sweep of Elizabethtown.

Juniata 4, Elizabethtown 1
Juniata 5, Elizabethtown 3

Huntingdon, Pa. ? The Juniata College softball team gave a boost to its conference postseason chances with a doubleheader sweep of Commonwealth Conference foe Elizabethtown in Huntingdon Monday afternoon. Juniata earned 4-1 and 5-3 victories which, coupled with a pair of losses by conference foe Messiah, moved Juniata into the final postseason spot in the conference standings with two conference games remaining. Juniata holds a record of 16-8 on the year and are now 6-6 in the conference. Elizabethtown fell to 9-17 on the season and 2-8 in the conference.

Sophomore pitcher Renae Hobbs (Mount Union/Mount Union) again came up big for the Eagles as she limited the visitors to one run on four hits in earning the complete-game win. Hobbs surrendered a solo home run in the top of the second to Diana Aria, but then held the Blue Jays hitless over the final four innings.

Juniata earned a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the first to grab a lead the Eagles would never relinquish. Amy Gable (Kennard-Dale/Stewartstown) and Amber Helsel (Claysburg-Kimmel/Claysburg) both came around to score on an RBI single from Hobbs that made the score 2-0.

After Elizabethtown pushed across the run in the second, Juniata would score single runs in the third and fifth to put the game away. Both rallies started with doubles from Becky Herr (Hamburg/Hamburg). In the third, she doubled with one out, then scored on a single from Allison D?Ambrosia (State College/Boalsburg). Then in the fifth, Herr again notched a one-out double, then came home on a single by Hobbs.

Elizabethtown?s biggest threat came in the fifth as Hobbs walked the lead-off batter, then hit the next hitter. A sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position, but Hobbs forced a ground out and then fanned the final batter to end the threat.

Herr was 2-for-3 with the two doubles and the pair of runs scored to lead the Eagle attack. Hobbs helped her own cause by going 2-for-3 with three RBI.

In game two, Helsel delivered the big blow as her two-run home run in the bottom of the fourth broke a 3-3 tie and put Juniata on top for good. The homer was the first of the year for Helsel and was one of her two hits in the game.

Elizabethtown jumped in front early, scoring three runs in the first two innings of Eagle starter Lizzie Bartosik (Penn/Granger, In.). Juniata?s sophomore pitcher would settle in after the first two frames, and kept the Blue Jays off the scoreboard for the next five innings to earn her sixth win of the year.

Juniata got the offense going in the third as they scored three runs to tie the game. Herr drove in Helsel with Juniata?s first run with a double. Hobbs followed with another RBI single, plating Sarah Patterson (Danville/Danville) and Hobbs to tie the score.

Helsel was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and a pair of RBI. Patterson also had a pair of hits and scored a run.


The games were the final home contests for five Juniata seniors. Cass Dutzer (Danville/Riverside) joined Patterson, Helsel, Gable and Herr in earning the 60 and 61st victories the seniors have enjoyed in their four years on College Hill.

The Eagles will return to action on Tuesday when they play a non-conference outing at Mount Aloysius.

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