(Posted April 10, 2007)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. - In a pair of tight, well-played conference contests the Juniata College softball team came away with a split of a doubleheader against Susquehanna University Tuesday afternoon winning game one 3-2 and then dropping game two by a 3-2 score in nine innings. Juniata (8-10, 2-6 Commonwealth) got a complete-game victory from freshman Alyssa Erb (Hollidaysburg/Hollidaysburg) in game one and held on to an early lead to claim the win. The Eagles scored all three of their runs in the first two innings as Rachel Nagy (Nazareth/Nazareth) gave the home team a 1-0 lead with an RBI single in the bottom of the first. A fielder\'s choice groundout from Kayle Kachik (Maplewood/Cambridge Springs) and an RBI single from Tara Carl (Otto-Eldred/Duke Center) in the second quickly gave Juniata 3-0 lead. Erb made that lead stand up as she tossed seven innings, scattering four hits and striking out seven while surrendering a pair of earned runs. Susquehanna got one run back in the third inning when Bekah Bennett started the frame with a solo home run. The Crusaders pulled within a run in the fifth when Kim Hartzell doubled with one out and then scored on a Bennett single. Erb then worked out of the jam and then retired the side in order in the sixth and seventh to capture her seventh win of the year. Carl finished 2-for-2 in the game for Juniata while Sarah Eckard (Hollidaysburg/Hollidaysburg), Stacy Nagy (Troy/Millerton) and Erb each had one hit and a run scored. Kelly McHale was charged with the loss for Susquehanna as she went six innings, allowing three runs on seven hits with one strikeout. Bennett was 2-for-2 on the day with a run scored and two RBI to lead the Crusader offense. Game two saw Susquehanna grab the early lead and then fought off Juniata\'s comeback attempts to win in extra innings.After neither team managed a run in the eighth inning, the Crusaders got the decisive tally in the top of the ninth. Megan McCurley singled with one out, and after moving to second on a passed ball, came home on an RBI single from Kerri Brugger. Juniata managed to load the bases with two outs in the ninth inning, but Bennett, on in relief, got the final out to preserve the win. Bennett pitched the final 2 1-3 innings to capture the win for Susquehanna. Gretchen Halsey worked the first 6 2-3 innings for Susquehanna, allowing two runs on eight hits. Laurie Blaszka knocked out a lead-off single in the first, and eventually came home to score on a throwing error from Juniata to give the visitors a 1-0 lead. Juniata got the run back in the bottom of the third when Carl belted a solo home run to tie the score at one. Susquehanna moved in front again in the fourth with an error allowing Hartzell to score and give Susquehanna a 2-1 lead. Juniata answered in the fifth with a groundout from Rachel Nagy bringing in the tying run. Elsann Machotka (South Regional/Manahawkin, N.J.) pitched the first two innings for Juniata, allowing one run on four hits. Erb came on in relief and was charged with the loss as she surrendered two runs on four hits over seven innings. Carl finished 3-for-5 in the game with an RBI and a run scored, while Stacy Nagy and Kaleigh Driscoll (Institute of Notre Dame/Fallston, Md.) each had two hits. McCurley finished 3-for-4 with a run scored to lead Susquehanna. Juniata returns to action Thursday with a non-conference doubleheader against Penn State-Altoona. ###

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