Brandywine Bests Hazleton Twice In Final At-Bat

Haley Grossi
Haley Grossi

ASTON, Pa. -- The Penn State Brandywine softball team had to come from behind in both games of a doubleheader sweep of Penn State Hazleton on Thursday as the Lions scored six times during the bottom of the sixth inning in the opener to win 7-4 and Haley Grossi's (Monmouth Junction, N.J./South Brunswick) two-run, walk-off single lifted the Lions to a 2-1 victory in game two.

Game One: Penn State Brandywine 7, Penn State Hazleton 4

Brandywine racked up six runs on five hits with the big blow a two-out, three-run home run off the bat of Alyssa Sullivan (Pennsburg, Pa./Upper Perkiomen) during the bottom of the sixth inning to rally for the win in the opener.

After a costly error started the inning, Maddie Malfara (Ardsley, Pa./Abington) sent a long double to right field to put a pair of runners on base. Nikki Velez (Gloucester, N.J./Gloucester City) drove in Hope Coacher (Ardmore, Pa./Haverford) with an infield single and four batters later, Alexandra Szpindor (Pottstown, Pa./Pope John Paul II) lofted a single to left field that pushed two runs across the plate, tying the game. Sullivan followed with her second home run of the season, a long shot over the left field fence.

Sullivan, Szpindor and Arianna Segich (Ocean City, N.J./Ocean City) all collected two hits. Segich also stole a base, while Haley Grossi (Monmouth Junction, N.J./South Brunswick) doubled and scored a pair of runs.

Cara Fabiano (Bristol, Pa./Bristol) allowed four runs to score in the fifth inning, but shut Hazleton's offense down otherwise to capture her seventh win of the year. She struck out one during her sixth complete game.

Game Two: Penn State Brandywine 2, Penn State Hazleton 1

Grossi was the hero in game two as her walk off single to left field plated Coacher and then Velez with the winning run.

Brandywine was limited to five hits, but three of those knocks came during the final inning. Morgan Meoli (Woolwich Twp., N.J./Kingsway Regional) got the rally started with a leadoff single. Coacher, a pinch runner, moved to second on a ground out and Velez followed with a base hit. After Velez stole second, Grossi delivered the game-winning hit to extend Brandywine's winning streak to 10-straight games.

Szpindor won her fifth consecutive decision after holding the Hazleton bats to one run and striking out three. She scattered eight hits, all singles, and did not issue a walk.

A pair of wins on Saturday at Hazleton would set a new team record for consecutive victories and would clinch Brandywine (13-11, 6-0 PSUAC) at least a share of first place in the PSUAC East Division during the regular season. The teams meet at the Drifton Softball Complex for a twinbill starting at 1:00 pm.

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