(Posted April 6, 2011)

ELIZABETHTOWN, Pa. -- Juniata College softball's bats finally came alive Wednesday afternoon against Elizabethtown College, but the Eagles came up on the short on both ends of their doubleheader against the Blue Jays falling by scores of 16-13 and 10-4.

Trailing 9-0 after three innings of game one, the Eagles plated four runs in the top of the fourth on three hits and a Blue Jay error.

Juniata (2-20) then tied the game in the top of the fifth with a six-run uprising, paced by Erin Francis' (Parkton, Md./Hereford) two-run single to right field. After RBI singles off the bats of Meghan Decker (Waynesboro, Pa./Waynesboro Area) and Rachel Smith (Martinsburg, Pa.), Kelsea Decker (Waynesboro, Pa./Waynesboro Area) plated two more runs with a two-run single into left.

The game remained tied at 10-10 through the eighth inning, when two Juniata runs scored on RBI singles by Kelsey Shutt (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin) and Caley McCool (Spring Mills, Pa./Penns Valley). Elizabethtown answered in the bottom of the frame, as Shannon Marsico stole home on a double steal, and Courtney Comstock crossed on a passed ball.

The Eagles regained the lead in the top of the 10th with one run off Shutt's single into left field, scoring Kelsea Decker.

Amanda Sheckard's single and a walk issued to Comstock loaded the bases for the Blue Jays in the bottom of the 10th, with Shayna Perella already aboard on the tiebreaker rule. Marsico grounded out prior to Comstock's walk, and Whitney Breneman struck out with bases loaded to put the Eagles one out away from the win. However Elly McCarthy cleared the bases with a home run, ending the game in E-town's favor.

The Eagles tallied a season-high 17 hits against the Blue Jays, with McCool finishing 4-for-7 at the plate with two runs batted in, while Francis went 3-for-6 with three RBI. Smith, Shutt, Amanda Gerlach (Mesa, Ariz./Marcos de Niza), and Steph Frith (Pottstown, Pa./Pottsgrove) all logged a pair of hits.

Morgan Miller (Olney, Md./Sandy Spring Friends) came on in the Elizabethtown fourth in relief of starter Mason Kersey (Charles Town, W.Va./St. John's Catholic), and fanned eight Blue Jays against just two walks while scattering four hits over six-and-two-thirds innings of work in the loss.

In game two, Elizabethtown (12-11) broke open a 3-2 ball game in the bottom of the second with three runs, two of those scoring on Lindsay Cooper's single to center field.

The Blue Jays added four more in the bottom of the fourth, but Juniata got two of those back in the fifth. Amanda Gerlach reached on a fielding error at short, advanced to second on Meghan Decker's single to left, eventually scoring on Smith's double into left field. Meghan Decker crossed later in the frame on twin-sister Kelsea's grounder to second, which was thrown away from the base at first.

Juniata plated one run in the top of the sixth, but the game was halted midway through the sixth inning due to darkness and the score reverted back to the 10-4 score after five complete.

Smith enjoyed a 3-for-3 effort at the plate in game two, while McCool was 3-for-3. For the day, McCool went 6-for-10, while Smith was 6-for-9 against the Blue Jays.

Kelsea Decker got the start in game two and was charged with the loss, allowing 10 earned runs on 12 hits with six walks and three strikeouts. Elizabethtown's Emily Vogel scattered nine hits while allowing two earned runs.

Juniata returns home this Saturday, April 9, when it hosts the University of Scranton in a Landmark Conference doubleheader. First pitch of game one is slated for 1:00 p.m.


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