Brandywine Opens Weekend Series With Pair Of Wins

Alexa Anderson
Alexa Anderson

ASTON, Pa. -- The Penn State Brandywine softball team opened its weekend series with rival Penn State Hazleton Friday afternoon with a pair of victories, besting Hazleton by scores of 3-1 and 12-2, to earn two key Penn State University Athletic Conference victories.

Katie DeStefano (Kennett, Pa./Kennett Square) went the distance in the circle in both games, improving to 8-5 this spring. During the opener, she limited Hazleton to one run and scattered seven hits, while striking out five. DeStefano fanned three more Hazleton batters in game two, while yielding just two runs on five hits in five innings.

Brandywine got all the runs it would need in the opener during the third inning. After falling behind 1-0, the Lions struck for three scores as Rachel Cherubini (Pottstown, Pa./Pottsgrove) got the rally started by lacing a single to left field. Four batters later, Cherubini came around to score on a base hit by Nikki Velez (Gloucester, N.J./Gloucester City) and Haley Grossi (Monmouth Junction, N.J./South Brunswick) followed with a double that plated two runs, giving Brandywine the lead for good.

Grossi added a triple to her ledger, providing two of Brandywine's five hits in game one.

The Lions scored in all five innings of the nightcap, collecting 12 runs on 13 hits. Arianna Segich (Ocean City, N.J./Ocean City) and Alexa Anderson (West Deptford, N.J./West Deptford) both went 3-for-3, while Velez and Katy Steffen (Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown West) each tallied a pair of hits. Velez also knocked in four runs and Anderson collected three RBI.

Anderson delivered a sacrifice fly and Steffen recorded an RBI double that plated Cherubini, putting Brandywine in front 2-0 after one inning. A bases-loaded single by Anderson added a third run during the second frame.

Hazleton got two runs back in the third, but Brandywine immediately countered with three runs as Grossi doubled in Velez and Segich knocked home Grossi and Maddie Malfara (Ardsley, Pa./Abington) with a triple. Anderson and Steffen tacked on run-scoring singles in the fifth, while Velez put an end to the game by clearing the bases with a double.

Brandywine (8-5-1, 3-1 PSUAC) and Hazleton finish out the four-game set Sunday afternoon at Freedom Park in Drums, Pa. Game one is slated to begin at noon.