Softball Back In State College To Defend PSUAC Crown

Haley Grossi
Haley Grossi

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- After capturing its first of three-straight Penn State University Athletic Conference titles at Beard Field, the Penn State Brandywine softball team makes its return to the place where its championship run began on Sunday in search of a fourth consecutive crown.

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Brandywine, which owns a 65-6 record against PSUAC opponents since 2015, is the No. 2 seed from the PSUAC Eastern Division and will match up with the top seed in the west, Penn State Fayette, at 11:00 am Sunday. Penn State Schuylkill and Penn State Beaver will face off Sunday at 1:00 pm with the losers of both games playing an elimination game at 3:00 pm and the winners playing again at 5:00 pm.

To advance to State College, the Lions bested Penn State Hazleton in a first round, single-elimination game last Friday, winning 11-3. Brandywine's offense collected seven extra-base hits, including home runs off the bats of Arianna Segich (2) and Haley Grossi.

Segich, who earned USCAA and PSUAC Hitter of the Week awards on Tuesday, was one-of-four players with two hits, while Alexa Anderson was 3-for-4 with three RBI in last year's PSUAC Tournament victory over Fayette, the teams' most recent meeting. Brandywine has won its last five games against Fayette overall.

Brandywine enters the tournament as one of the top hitting teams in the PSUAC with a team batting average of .425 and USCAA-leading 110 extra-base hits. The Lions are also third nationally in home runs with 27 as Segich and Katy Steffen have both hit seven, Anderson has clubbed five, and Grossi owns four long balls. Anderson is also tied for the PSUAC lead with 41 RBI.

Katie DeStefano, a two-time all-American, owns a single-season program record with 17 victories and 22 complete games in 22 starts in the circle this spring. She went 8-1 in nine PSUAC starts, striking out 39 batters in 48.0 innings. Against Fayette in her career, DeStefano is 2-0 with a pair of complete-game shutouts.

After an elimination game at 11:00 am on Monday, the double-elimination tournament's championship game is slated for 1:00 pm. A second title game, if necessary, will begin at 3:00 pm.