Long Balls Advance Brandywine Past Hazleton In PSUAC First Round

Arianna Segich
Arianna Segich

ASTON, Pa. -- Penn State Brandywine hitters homered three times as the Lions used the long ball to defeat Penn State Hazleton 11-3 in five innings during a first-round elimination game of the Penn State University Athletic Conference Softball Tournament on Friday afternoon.

Arianna Segich (Ocean City, N.J./Ocean City) went deep twice, including a two-run home run that ended the game by run rule in the fifth inning, while Haley Grossi (Monmouth Junction, N.J./South Brunswick) also blasted a two-run home run during the Lions' five-run fifth.

Segich went 3-for-4 at the plate, drove in three runs and scored three times, while Grossi added two hits, three RBI and two runs. Katy Steffen (Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown West) produced a pair of triples and knocked in two runs in three at-bats.

By far the national leader in extra-base hits with 110, Brandywine hitters saw seven of their 11 hits go for extra bases and upped their PSUAC-best home run total to 27 this spring.

Brandywine, the three-time defending PSUAC champion, moves on to State College where it will face Penn State Fayette, the top seed from the western division, on Sunday, May 6 at Beard Field. Game time is slated for 11:00 AM.

Katie DeStefano (Kennett Square, Pa./Kennett) delivered the first big hit of the day for Brandywine as her two-out double to right field plated Grossi with the game's first run during the second inning.

After Hazleton put a run on the board in the top of the third, Brandywine countered with a four-run bottom of the frame. Steffen tripled in Segich and Rachel Cherubini (Pottstown, Pa./Pottsgrove) and then scored on Nikki Velez's (Gloucester, N.J./Gloucester City) base hit. Grossi added a sacrifice fly, pushing across Julie Foeldes (Kendall Park, N.J./South Brunswick) with Brandywine's fifth run.

Hazleton got two runs back in the fourth inning, but Segich's first home run, a long, solo shot to right field, upped Brandywine's lead to 6-3.

Brandywine put the game away in the fifth inning, scoring five times. Steffen tripled and came around to score on a fielder's choice, while Grossi sent a two-run home run over the left field fence and Segich capped the scoring with her second long ball of the day.

In addition to going 2-for-3 with two doubles at the plate, DeStefano earned her 17th victory of the season and upped her career record against Hazleton to 8-0. In 5.0 innings, she struck out three and allowed three runs on five hits.

Brandywine, which has won nine consecutive PSUAC Tournament games, last faced Penn State Fayette in the tournament's 2017 semifinals, winning by a score of 9-2.