Cal U softballers win 2 in PSAC Tourney
Battling several delays due to weather and field conditions, the No. 12 Vulcans opened play in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Tournament on Thursday with a 3-0 victory over Mansfield, the No. 4 seed from the PSAC East, and a 4-2 win against Bloomsburg, the No. 2 seed from the PSAC East, ina game that ended late.
With the victories, the California University of Pennsylvania softball team improves to 32-4 overall and extends its winning streak to 28 games. The Vulcans, who dropped to second in the latest NCAA Atlantic regional rankings, will face Shippensburg today at 6 p.m.
Against Mansfield (23-17), sophomore Alex Sagl tossed her fifth complete-game shutout of the season and reached the 20-win mark for the second-straight year. She scattered seven hits and issued three walks, while recording seven strikeouts over 7.0 innings (98 pitches). Sagl (20-2) became the fourth Cal U pitcher to record back-to-back 20-win seasons, and the first since Melissa Brooks in 1999-2000.
Cal U took a 1-0 lead in the third when junior shortstop Breanna Morris delivered an RBI single down the right-field line. In the fourth, Mansfield collected back-to-back two-out, singles and had runners on the corners before Sagl induced a foul-out to end the inning. The Vulcans added to their lead in the bottom of the inning when sophomore left fielder Erica Vallecorsa scored from first on an RBI single to right center by senior catcher Natalie Wideman.
In the sixth, Mansfield had two runners forced out at third base before Cal U added an insurance run in the bottom of the inning. Vallecorsa reached on a two-out fielding error and advanced to second on a wild pitch before Wideman lined an RBI double to left center.
Wideman finished 3-for-4 with two RBI and one stolen base while batting leadoff. She became the third Cal U player to post 20 steals in a season, and the first since Meaggan Wilton in 1999. Morris went 3-for-3 with one RBI and sophomore first baseman Lindsay Reicoff finished 2-for-3 with one run scored. Against Bloomsburg (27-16), freshman Kaity Davis earned a complete-game victory after allowing two runs (one earned) on eight hits in 7.0 innings (97 pitches). She also posted four strikeouts and forced the Huskies to leave six runners on base, including four in scoring position.
The Huskies collected a double in each of the opening two innings before Davis prevented both runners from advancing to third. In the top of the third, Vallecorsa led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt before scoring on a double by Reicoff. Bloomsburg answered with a run in the bottom of the inning after benefiting from a pair of errors on a bunt.
In the fourth, junior center fielder Shelby Heyd gave Cal U a 2-1 lead with a solo homer, her fourth of the year. The Vulcans later added to their lead in the seventh with a two-run homer by Wideman, her fifth of the year. In the bottom of the inning, first baseman Rachel Fredell led off the inning with a solo homer before Bloomsburg later had runners on first and second with one out. Davis then induced a pop-up and fly-out to close out the victory.
Vallecorsa finished 2-for-3 with two runs scored and Wideman tallied a pair of RBI in the victory.