MEDIA, Pa. -- Seeded fifth, Penn State Brandywine returns to the USCAA Softball World Series for the fourth consecutive year when its championship run begins Monday against fourth-seeded NHTI at 2:00 pm in DuBois, Pa.
Brandywine (25-8-1) enters the tournament having won six-straight games after sweeping through the PSUAC Tournament en route to a fourth championship in as many years under Head Coach Mark Caserta. After starting the season 4-5, the Lions won 21 of their next 25 games to match the 2016 team with the highest single-season win total in program history.
At last week's PSUAC Tournament, Brandywine rolled through the competition, winning three of its four games by run rule, including a 14-2 victory over Penn State Schuylkill in the title game. Four players posted three hits in the championship game, including all-conference selections Alexa Anderson and Katy Steffen, who both drove in five runs.
Since the beginning of April, Brandywine's offense has been on a roll, scoring at least 10 runs in 13-of-16 games. Six players in the lineup hold a batting average above .450 on the season. Steffen (11 games), Anderson (12 games) and Arianna Segich (15 games) all bring double-digit hitting streaks into the USCAA Tournament, while Rachel Cherubini set a team record by hitting safely in 18-straight games earlier this season.
The Lions' 29 home runs are tied for the second-highest total nationally with Cleary University, the top overall seed in the World Series. NHTI, Brandywine's first round opponent, tops all teams with 35 long balls this spring.
Brandywine ranks as the top squad defensively in the USCAA, holding a team fielding percentage of .975. The Lions have committed just 16 errors this season and catcher Julie Foeldes has thrown out over 40 percent (9-22) of attempted base stealers, backing pitcher Katie DeStefano, who set a Brandywine single-season wins record with 20 victories in 25 appearances.
Monday's matchup will be the third in the last four years between Brandywine and NHTI. The Lynx have gotten the better of Brandywine during each of the first two meetings, winning by scores of 6-0 in 2015 and 4-1 in an elimination game one year later. NHTI enters the 2018 World Series with a record of 27-5 and has won 23 consecutive games.
A victory over NHTI would send Brandywine to the national quarterfinals against No. 1 Cleary, No. 8 Penn State Schuylkill or No. 9 Robert Morris-Springfield on Tuesday. The Lions are 2-1 in opening-round games, having defeated Penn College in 2016 and SUNY Canton last season.
June 11, 2018 Brandywine Places Fourth In USCAA Director’s Cup
May 17, 2018 Brandywine Lands Four USCAA Softball All-Americans
May 16, 2018 Brandywine Falls Short In USCAA World Series Finale
May 14, 2018 NHTI Rallies To Knock Off Brandywine 4-3
May 11, 2018 Softball Makes Return To USCAA World Series
May 10, 2018 Malfara Named To Academic All-District First Team
April 26, 2018 Softball Hosts Hazleton In PSUAC First Round Friday
April 24, 2018 Alexa Anderson Claims Hitter Of The Week Honor
April 23, 2018 Brandywine Rolls To Sweep In Regular Season Finale
April 20, 2018 Brandywine Sends Seniors Out With Sweep
April 17, 2018 Foeldes And Steffen Record 100th Hits In Win Over Stratford
April 10, 2018 Haley Grossi Named PSUAC Hitter Of The Week
April 10, 2018 Brandywine Bats Too Much For Eastern
April 8, 2018 DeStefano, Steffen Reach Milestones; Lions Split
April 6, 2018 Brandywine Opens Weekend Series With Pair Of Wins
March 27, 2018 Brandywine Rallies From Seven Down To Top Wesley
March 26, 2018 Brandywine, Schuylkill Split PSUAC-Opening Doubleheader
March 22, 2018 Weekend Schedule Changes For Brandywine Athletics
March 21, 2018 PSUAC Names DeStefano Pitcher Of The Week
March 16, 2018 Steffen Homers Twice In Lions’ Sweep Of St. Joseph
March 12, 2018 Brandywine Splits Home-Opening Doubleheader
March 7, 2018 Lions Drop Final Games In Clermont To Bates, Alvernia
March 6, 2018 Brandywine Rolls In Opener; Splits First Day In Clermont
December 14, 2017 Brandywine Softball Releases 2018 Schedule
August 28, 2017 How Maddie Malfara Spent Her Summer: Internships At Brandywine