No. 10 California (Pa.) drops No. 20 Gannon in a doubleheader sweep
Behind a walk-off homer by junior Stephani Ellis in Game 1 on Saturday afternoon, No. 10 California (Pa.) posted a doubleheader sweep against No. 20 Gannon in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) West action, winning 3-2 and 6-4.
With the victories, the Vulcans extend their winning streak to nine games and improve to 23-1 overall with a 7-1 record in league play. Cal U now boasts a 5-1 record at Lilley Field this season, out-scoring its opponents by a 52-17 margin. Meanwhile, the Golden Knights fall to 19-6 this season with a 4-4 mark in divisional action.
In Game 1, Gannon tied the game at 2-2 after scoring two runs in the top of the sixth. The Golden Knights threatened to take the lead in the seventh with two runners before the inning ended with an infield pop-up. In the bottom of the inning, Ellis ended the game by belting the 3-2 delivery over the center-field fence for a walk-off solo homer.
Cal U took a 1-0 lead in the first on a solo homer by sophomore shortstop Breanna Morris. The Vulcans added to their lead in the second when junior catcher Natalie Wideman collected an RBI single after sophomore center fielder Shelby Heyd reached on a triple.
Freshman Alex Sagl improved to 10-1 after posting her eighth complete game of the season. She yielded two unearned runs and scattered seven hits over 7.0 innings (114 pitches), while registering four strikeouts. Gannon ace Megan Dragon (10-3) suffered the loss after allowing three runs (all earned) on five hits in 6.0-plus innings (69 pitches).
Heyd collected two of the team's five hits and was one of three players to score in the victory.
In Game 2, freshman Haley Bashada earned the victory after tossing 6.2 innings (89 pitches) of scoreless relief. She scattered seven hits and one walk while making just her second appearance in nearly a month. Golden Knights sophomore Jess Rectenwald was saddled with the loss after surrendering six runs (two earned) on five hits and four walks in 5.2 innings (74 pitches).
Gannon roughed up freshman starter Lindsay Reicoff, who was making her first pitching appearance since Feb. 24, for four runs in the first inning behind a three-run homer. The Vulcans manufactured a run in the bottom of the inning when Morris scored from second on an RBI single by Ellis.
Morris opened the sixth inning with a solo homer before Cal U mounted a four-run rally later in the inning. Heyd reached on a two-out fielding error before Wideman was hit by a pitch. Freshman second baseman Natalya Smarra then lined an RBI single through the middle before freshman left fielder Erica Vallecorsa lined a two-run double to center field. Following a walk and pitching change, Reicoff added an insurance run with an RBI single through the left side. In the top of the seventh, the first two Gannon batters reached safely before Bashada forced a pair of shallow fly-outs. Both runners then advanced into scoring position on a wild pitch before an infield pop-up sealed the victory.
Morris tallied two of the team's six hits in the victory and also scored twice.