LEESPORT, Pa. -- Penn State Hazleton scored the final six runs of the game to erase a four-run deficit, downing Penn State Brandywine 10-8 in a PSUAC softball tiebreaker game to determine the East Division champion on Wednesday afternoon.
Brandywine trailed 3-0 after one inning, but put together a two-out rally, scoring four times to take the lead in the top of the second. Haley Grossi (Monmouth Junction, N.J./South Brunswick) delivered a run-scoring single that plated Fiona Warren (Schwenksville, Pa./Perkiomen Valley) and Arianna Segich (Ocean City, N.J./Ocean City) sped around the bases for an inside-the-park, three-run home run to left field, putting Brandywine in front.
Hazleton tied the game with a run in the bottom of the second before the Lions put four more runs on the board in the fifth inning. Brandywine's first four batters reached base in the frame, the last of which was a bases-loaded walk issued to Nikki Velez (Gloucester, N.J./Gloucester City), forcing in a run. Two batters after Grossi added a sacrifice fly, Rachel Cherubini (Pottstown, Pa./Pottsgrove) plated two more runs with a single through the middle of the infield.
A solo home run got one run back for Hazleton in the fifth before exploding for five runs on four hits in the sixth inning. The big hit during the inning came on as a three-run double for Lexi Kessler, putting Hazleton in the lead for good.
Cherubini, Segich and Morgan Meoli (Woolwich Twp., N.J./Kingsway Regional) all had two hits for the Lions, who out-hit Hazleton 8-7. Segich drove in three runs, scored once and stole the 150th base of her career. Cherubini and Grossi both added two RBI, while Velez and Warren both crossed home twice.
With the victory, Hazleton captured the No. 1 seed from the PSUAC East Division. The tie-breaking game was needed after the teams split four regular-season game with each squad winning twice on its home field.
Brandywine (19-16) will be the No. 2 seed from the East Division and host East No. 3 Penn State Schuylkill on Friday at 4:00 pm at Maple Zone in an tournament elimination game. Brandywine is the four-time defending conference champion.
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