(Posted April 22, 2010)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College's three-run fifth inning lifted the Eagles to a 5-2 win over visiting Susquehanna University on Thursday at Weaver Park Field, allowing Juniata to take a split out of its Landmark Conference softball doubleheader against the Crusaders.

Susquehanna won the first game, 4-3, in a come-from-behind victory.

Juniata's game two win was sparked by Amanda Gerlach's (Mesa, Ariz./Marcos de Niza) ground rule double down the left field line with one out in the fifth. Gerlach scored what proved to be the go-ahead run on the next at bat, when Susquehanna pitcher Sarah Hoffman's attempted flip to first on a Steph Frith (Pottstown, Pa./Pottsgrove) grounder was mishandled, allowing Frith to reach on the error.

Melissa Moffat (Oceanside, Calif./Oceanside) and Sarah Eckard (Hollidaysburg, Pa./Hollidaysburg) plated insurance runs later in the frame with RBI singles. Moffat advanced all the way to third when her base hit to right field got past Crusader right fielder Deanna Anderson, allowing Frith to score. Eckard's slapped single to short plated Moffat, capping the Juniata scoring.

Juniata initially took a 2-0 lead in the first inning with runs on RBI singles by Rachel Nagy (Nazareth, Pa./Nazareth) and Gerlach. Susquehanna responded in the top of the fourth with two runs when Kelli Holota's crushed a double off the left center field fence, scoring Bryn Whitmire and Brennan Balfour.

Starter Stacy Nagy (Millerton, Pa./Troy) closed the door on a Susquehanna comeback in game two, allowing just one single in the sixth and retiring the side on a pair of ground outs and a foul out in the seventh. Nagy improved to 7-8 with the complete game win, while Hoffman dropped her record to 10-3.

Rachel Nagy went 3-for-3 at the plate in the game two, while Gerlach was 3-for-4. Each had one double during the game. Eckard also had a pair of hits to aid the Juniata cause.

In game one, Susquehanna took a 2-0 lead in the third inning, but Juniata regained the lead with a three-run fourth that was keyed by Gerlach's two-run single down the left field line. Caley McCool (Spring Mills, Pa./Penns Valley) plated Juniata's first run of the fourth with a double down the left field line to score Rachel Nagy, who reached on an error by the shortstop.

The Crusaders posted the game-winning runs in the top of the fifth, when Holota opened with a double and Shelly Landis scored pinch runner Courtney Miller with a single up the middle. Landis crossed later in the inning on a Taylor Crawford double.

Juniata starter Alyssa Erb (Hollidaysburg, Pa./Hollidaysburg) fanned 11 Crusader batters and allowed four earned runs on 11 hits, falling to 7-7 with the loss. Susquehanna's Cara Swerdlow scattered eight hits and struck out four Eagles, and improved to 15-2 with the win.

McCool and Kelsey Shutt (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin) each went 2-for-3 at the plate in game one, while Gerlach drove in a pair of runs.

Juniata will close out its 2010 Landmark Conference slate on Saturday afternoon, when it hosts the United States Merchant Marine Academy at 1:00 p.m. on Weaver Park Field.


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