CLERMONT, Fla. – The Penn State Brandywine softball team overcame a three-run deficit to earn its first win of the 2019 season by a score of 8-7 over New England College on Saturday afternoon at the PFX Spring Games. Earlier Saturday, the Lions dropped their season opener to Johnson & Wales (R.I.) 4-0.
Brandywine's offense was limited to three hits by Johnson & Wales' pitcher Kristin Frost as the Lions were blanked 4-0 in their season opener. Three freshmen – Cara Fabiano (Bristol, Pa./Bristol), Alyssa Sullivan (Pennsburg, Pa./Upper Perkiomen) and Alexandra Szpindor (Pottstown, Pa./Pope John Paul II) accounted for the Lions' trio of base hits during their collegiate debuts.
Szpindor suffered the loss in the circle after allowing four runs on six hits, while striking out two. The Wildcats plated a single run in the first and tacked on three more in the fifth inning.
Brandywine had opportunities to score against Frost, putting a runner on base in six-of-seven innings, but could not push a run across. The Lions left seven runners stranded on base overall.
Brandywine got the offense started in the second inning of game two, pushing across three runs without the benefit of a hit. Morgan Meoli's (Woolwich Twp., N.J./Kingsway Regional) ground ball scored Sullivan, who walked to lead off the frame, while Nikki Velez (Gloucester, N.J./Gloucester City) crossed home on a passed ball and Arianna Segich (Ocean City, N.J./Ocean City) drove in Meoli with a sacrifice fly.
The Pilgrims answered Brandywine's four runs with a six spot during the bottom of the frame, recording four earned runs off Fabiano, but the Lions countered by pushing four more scores across in the fourth. Arden Rabiger (Yardley, Pa./Pennsbury) singled and scored on an error to bring the count to 6-4. Segich and Maddie Malfara (Ardsley, Pa./Abington) executed a double steal that allowed Malfara to cross home and Szpindor put the Lions in front, clubbing a two-run single.
Brandywine added an insurance run in the fifth inning when Rabiger singled and scored on a Pilgrim error. The Lions would need that run as New England plated its seventh run with two outs in the sixth, but Fabiano worked out of further trouble to help Brandywine secure the win.
Fabiano yielded seven runs (four earned) in six innings, while fanning three to claim her first college win. At the plate, Rabiger went 2-for-2 and scored twice, while Segich and Szpindor both drove in two runs.
Brandywine (1-1) faces Muhlenberg (9:00 am) and DeSales (6:00 pm) on Sunday in Clermont.