Lebanon Valley sweeps No. 7 Messiah
Malizzia fires shutout in opener to spark sweep of Falcons
ANNVILLE, Pa. - Lebanon Valley brought out the bats to combine for 17 hits in two games against one of the nation's top pitching staffs as it dealt No. 7 Messiah its first doubleheader sweep of the year, 2-0 and 4-1, on Saturday.
The Dutchmen (14-5, 4-2 CC) got seven hits in the opener off Messiah's Jess Rhoads - who had not surrendered a hit in seven wins this year - before drilling a pair of home runs in the nightcap to snap a 10-game win streak by the Falcons (18-4, 4-2 CC).
Meghan Donoghue's two-RBI single in the third inning of game one proved decisive, and first-inning homers by Kristen Palmerio and Steff Secola set the tone in game two for LVC's offense.
Val Malizzia (7-1) allowed six hits and struck out four in a scoreless opener, and Laura Snyder (3-4) struck out nine in game two.
Facing a tall order against Rhoads, who had not allowed a hit in 35.2 innings this season, the Dutchmen got to work quickly as Katie Deardorff led off the game with a bunt single to break the ice. The damage was done in the third, however, as Donoghue singled through the right side with runners on second and third to plate Chelsea Kehr and Deardorff.
That was be all the scoring LVC needed as Malizzia managed the game effectively, working out of jams in the second and fifth with runners on third and shutting out the Falcons despite runners in scoring position in four innings. LVC threatened with a pair of hits in the fifth and a baserunner on third in the sixth after Rhoads was lifted for Sara Dietrich for the final inning.
The second game started with a bang as Palmerio and Secola smashed first-inning solo home runs, but Messiah got on the board in the top of the second with Sara Seneca's RBI triple to cut the lead to 2-1.
LVC tacked on insurance runs later in the game, with Donoghue doubling in Kehr to make it 3-1 in the fifth before Katie Freeman's RBI double brought in Marisa Krause in the sixth.
Snyder scattered four hits and struck out nine with a complete effort, while Messiah's Jocelyn Hickey went five and was responsible for all four runs. Dietrich pitched an inning of perfect relief.