Crimson Hawks advance to PSAC semifinals
Published: Saturday, April 28, 2012
Updated: Friday, April 27, 2012 13:04
For the third consecutive year and sixth in the last eight, the Crimson Hawks participated in postseason play as they faced West Chester and California (Pa.) on Wednesday in Drifton, Pa. for the 2012 PSAC Softball Tournament.
IUP defeated West Chester 4-1 and rode that to another victory over Cal U, 4-3. IUP advanced Thursday to face Lock Haven, where they picked up another victory, 14-10.
The Crimson Hawks’ offense opened the game with a bang as Marissa Leslie hit her first career home run in the bottom of the first, taking an early 1-0 lead. The offense continued to hit in the bottom first, beginning with Monica Iachini being walked and advancing to third on a ground rule double by Megan McCormick.
The bases were loaded two batters later on a walk for Mary Ward before an error scored Iachini, making the score 2-0. The third and final run of the inning scored after two walks forced in a run.
IUP then made it a 4-0 game in the second off an RBI single by McCormick. They went on to win the game 4-1.
Kelly King took to the mound and pitched a gem, striking out a career high eight batters and allowing one run in seven innings for another complete game victory. With the win she improved her record to 17-6 while earning her 20th complete game.
In game two against Cal U, the Crimson Hawks were shut out in the first three innings and fell behind 3-0 to their division rival.
IUP’s offense got going in the first when McCormick reached first on a single and advanced to second two batters later on a walk for Tara Waldo. Ashley Strack then got IUP on the board with an RBI single, closing the gap to two.
The offense continued scoring in the fifth beginning with a single by Jen Beaver, who then advanced to third on a double by Leslie. Both Beaver and Leslie would score on a throwing error off a hit by Iachini, completing the comeback and tying the game at three. Iachini then scored later that inning on a sacrifice fly by Ward, giving them a 4-3 lead to seal the victory.
King pitched another great game in her second start of the day, striking out two and allowing one earned run in seven innings for another complete game victory.
On Thursday, the Crimson Hawks’ offense played one of their best games this season. IUP scored 14 runs on 16 hits, hitting four home runs. Homers were hit by McCormick, Jasa Mitchell, Ward and Beaver.
King started the game, but was knocked around, allowing nine runs with one earned in three innings. King was relieved by Alexa Campbell, who finished the game, pitching four innings allowing one unearned run. Campbell was given the victory, improving her record to 6-5.
The Crimson Hawks will play Bloomsburg in the semifinals.