(Posted April 5, 2007)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. - The Juniata College softball rallied from a pair of one-run deficits to claim its first conference victory of the year in extra innings of the first game of its conference doubleheader against Messiah College, but the Eagles were unable to keep that momentum going as they dropped the second game of the twinbill. Juniata won game one 3-2 in nine innings, then fell by a 7-0 score in game two. Kaleigh Driscoll (Institute of Notre Dame/Fallston, Md.) delivered a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the ninth to give Juniata the dramatic victory in game one. She singled home Sarah Eckard (Hollidaysburg/Hollidaysburg) who doubled to lead off the inning. Juniata trailed 2-1 heading into the bottom of the seventh, but rallied with a run to send the game into extra frames. Eckard singled with two outs, then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Tara Carl (Otto-Eldred/Duke Center) singled to center to score Eckard and tie the game at two. The Eagles eventually loaded the bases, but reliever Jenna Betchelor fanned the final hitter to send the game to extra innings. Alyssa Erb (Hollidaysburg/Hollidaysburg) pitched all nine innings to earn the win for Juniata as she allowed two runs on nine hits while striking out nine. Rebeca Croft was also solid for Messiah as she went 6 2-3 innings and scattered six hits and allowed just one earned run. Messiah moved in front in the top of the second when Amy Bowie led off the inning with a solo home run to left center. Juniata tied the score in the bottom of the fifth. Stacy Nagy (Troy/Millerton) reached on an error, and then came home on a single from Erb to knot the game at one. It looked like the Falcons had the last answer when the visitors took a 2-1 lead in the top of the seventh. Nicole Adams doubled home Lana Trotter to put Messiah up by a run. Eckard had two hits and scored twice for Juniata offensively, while Rachel Nagy (Nazareth/Nazareth) also had two hits. Bowie, Trotter and Adams all had a pair of hits for Messiah. After knocking out 10 hits in game one, Juniata was unable to find the offense in game two as Falcon hurler Megan Rice picked up her eighth win of the year by holding the Eagles to just one hit. She allowed one hit and struck out six over seven innings. Messiah jumped in front quickly with three runs in the top of the first off Juniata starter Pam Mansell (Penns Valley/Centre Hall). Rice helped her own cause with an RBI single, and Trotter bought home a pair of runs with a double. Jessica DeBoer launched a solo home run in the second inning to extend the lead to 4-0. An RBI double from Trotter in the third knocked Mansell from the game, and an error brought home the final two runs for the Falcons. Mansell was tagged with the loss as she allowed six runs, five earned, over two innings. Elsann Machotka (South Regional/Manahawkin, N.J.) tossed five innings of relief and surrendered one run on five hits. Liz Schmitt (H. Frank Carey/Franklin Square, N.Y.) had Juniata\'s lone hit in the game. DeBoer and Bowie each had two hits and two runs scored for Messiah. Juniata returns to action on Tuesday when the Eagles host Susquehanna for a Commonwealth doubleheader. ###

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Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.