(Posted April 26, 2007)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. - The Juniata College softball team got a strong pitching performance and plenty of offense in game one of its non-conference doubleheader against Saint Vincent, but were unable to hold a late lead in game two as the Eagles split the two-game set Thursday in Huntingdon. Juniata won game one 5-0 and then fell by a 5-4 score in nine innings in game two. Freshman Alyssa Erb (Hollidaysburg/Hollidaysburg) earned her 10th victory of the season and tossed her second consecutive complete-game shutout for Juniata in game one. The freshman tossed seven innings and scattered three hits while walking five in the contest. Lesa Bauer matched Erb for the first three innings, before Liz Schmitt (H. Frank Carey/Franklin Square, N.Y.) broke up the shutout with a solo home run with one out in the bottom of the fourth. That blast seemed to spark the Blue and Gold offense as Juniata then scored three runs on five hits in the fifth. Rachel Nagy (Nazareth/Nazareth) singled home the first run to make it 2-0 Juniata. Kaleigh Driscoll (Institute of Notre Dame/Fallston, Md.) followed with an RBI bunt single, and Stacy Nagy (Troy/Millerton) singled home another run to make it 4-0 Juniata. The Eagles tacked on one more run in the sixth on an RBI single from Tara Carl (Otto-Eldred/Duke Center). Carl, Rachel Nagy and Sarah Eckard all had two hits and scored a run for Juniata in the game with Nagy and Carl also adding RBI. Bauer was charged with the loss as she went six innings, allowing five runs on 10 hits while fanning seven. Game two was a back-and-forth affair with Saint Vincent sending the game into extra frames with a run in the top of the seventh, and then earning the win by scoring twice in the top of the ninth. In the seventh with runners on second and third Shannon Ballantyne dropped a perfect bunt for a single that brought home the tying run against Erb who had come on in relief. Saint Vincent had the go-ahead run at third with just one out, but the runner was thrown out at the plate trying to steal home. The visitors then took control in the ninth. With a runner placed at second to open the inning as per international tie-breaker rules, a sacrifice bunt moved her to third, and then the run came in on an infield error. Ballantyne then followed with a triple off the wall to extend the lead to 5-3. Juniata got one back in the bottom half as Jackie Morley (Archbishop Wood/North Wales) doubled home the runner at second to start the inning. But the Eagles could not bring home the tying run as Saint Vincent hurler Ashley Whipkey got out of the jam to pick up the win. Whipkey earned the win by allowing three unearned runs in the game. Pam Mansell (Penns Valley/Centre Hall) was charged with the loss for Juniata as she started the game and then came on again in relief in the extra innings. She went 6 2-3 innings, allowing two runs, both unearned, on five hits. Erb surrendered two runs, one earned, in 2 1-3 innings of relief. Juniata took an initial 1-0 lead when Stacy Nagy singled, stole second, moved to third on a groundout and scored on a passed ball in the second inning. Saint Vincent got the run back in the fifth when Mansell issued a bases-loaded walk to Ballantyne. Juniata answered in the bottom of the inning as Rachel Nagy drove in two runs with a double off the wall to put Juniata on top 3-1. The Bearcats inched within a run on an RBI double from Mollie Stock in the top of the sixth, before tying the score in the seventh. Stacy Nagy had two hits and scored twice for Juniata while Morley also had a pair of hits. Ballantyne was 2-for-3 with three RBI for Saint Vincent. Juniata returns to action Saturday with its home finale as the Eagles welcome conference foe Albright. ###

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