QUAKERTOWN, Pa. — The Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference hosted day one of the 2023 PSAC Softball Championships Wednesday from Veteran’s Park in Quakertown, Pennsylvania.
Shippensburg opened the tournament with a 6-2 win over Gannon. Down 2-1 through five innings, the Raiders erupted for five runs scored in the bottom of the sixth to take the commanding four-run lead. In the win, the Raiders recorded nine hits to Gannon’s five.
Bloomsburg also came away with an early victory by handling California (Pa.), 13-7. The Vulcans grabbed a slight 6-5 advantage early on in a high-scoring first two innings, but from there the Huskies put together eight more runs throughout the game while Cal (Pa.) managed just one. By the end, Bloomsburg scattered an impressive 19 hits, while Cal (Pa.) also reached double-digits with 11.
Slippery Rock survived a marathon game to beat East Stroudsburg, 11-10. The Rock knocked out four home runs in the contest, including three in the top of the sixth inning to take an 11-7 lead late in the game. Despite the Warriors driving in three more runs soon after in the bottom of the sixth, The Rock held on to their slim advantage through a scoreless seventh inning to take the win. Slippery Rock finished with 13 hits to East Stroudsburg’s 10.
Kutztown overpowered Mercyhurst, 7-4, to move on in the Championship bracket. In a game where 5-of-the-6 scoring plays were thanks to home runs, it was a grandslam from Kutztown’s Kate Ostaszewski in the top of the fourth inning that gave the Golden Bears a lead they would never look back from. Mercyhurst’s scoring all came down to three homers in the third inning, while Kutztown had additional runs in the first and third frames.
Shippensburg captured their second win of the day by beating PSAC West No. 1 seed Seton Hill, 15-10. In the high-scoring affair, Shippensburg came up with seven runs in the final inning to put Seton Hill away. For the Raiders, Morgan Lindsay (3) and Caitlin Martell (2) combined for five home runs, while the team scattered 13 overall. For the Griffins, Brooke Cleland had the team-high three hits, and the team combined for 12 total.
Bloomsburg emerged victorious for the second time on Wednesday with an extra-inning 6-5 defeat of top-seed West Chester. The Golden Rams jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, but three runs in the fourth inning and two more in the sixth from the Huskies brought the game to an eventual 5-5 tie by the end of the seventh frame. In the top of the eighth, an RBI double from Bloomsburg’s Alex Iseminger plated the winning run and advanced the team further in the Championship bracket.
Gannon upset PSAC East No. 1 seed West Chester with a 9-7 victory to eliminate the Golden Rams from Championship contention. Gannon started off strong and amassed eight runs in the first three innings, while West Chester posted just one. The Golden Rams countered later in the game by scoring two runs in each of the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings to get back within striking distance, but ultimately fell short of the Golden Knights’ lead. In the win, Gabi Vasi pitched six innings while also leading Gannon’s offensive charge with two hits, four RBIs, a double, and a home run. In the loss, West Chester actually outhit Gannon 13-to-11 with Madison Melvin going 4-for-5.
California (Pa.) walked it off 5-4 in extra innings to send home the second No. 1 seed of the day, Seton Hill. Knotted up at 4-4 by the end of the seventh frame, Rylee Evans hit an RBI single to plate Shayna Postler for the walk-off score in the bottom of the eighth. Each team homered twice in the contest, but the Vulcans outnumbered the Griffins in hits 11-to-9 while also leaving three less runners on base.