Softball Remains Perfect in Landmark Play; Clinches No. 1 Seed

Softball Remains Perfect in Landmark Play; Clinches No. 1 Seed

Game One Box Score
Game Two Box Score

HUNTINGDON, Pa. – It was another doubleheader sweep for the Susquehanna softball team with the Crusaders taking 6-4, 10-1 decisions from Juniata on Saturday afternoon. The victories clinched the No. 1 seed in the Landmark Conference Tournament on May 2-3.

The wins improve SU’s overall record to 19-11 while the Crusaders remain perfect in Landmark Conference play at 10-0. The pair of wins also extends the team’s win streak to four.

The Crusaders hung on in game one despite a seventh-inning grand slam by the Eagles. Steph Chlebove (Northampton, Pa./Northampton Area) went 3-for-4 with one run scored and one RBI while Amanda Neveroski (Toms River, N.J./Toms River North) drove in two runs on two hits and Bridget Rafter (Highlands, N.J./Henry Hudson Regional) finished 3-for-4 with two RBI.

Morgan Lewis (Newtown, Pa./Council Rock North) went the distance and gave up four runs on six hits with 11 strikeouts and had a shutout going until that seventh inning.

In fact, it was a scoreless game until the top of the fifth when the Crusaders broke out for five runs on five hits and one Juniata error. Brianna Murphy (Hazlet, N.J./Mater Dei Prep) and Chlebove led off the inning with back-to-back singles and Neveroski drove home both with a single through the left side. Sam LaCoe’s (Clarks Summit, Pa./Abington Heights) bunt single plated the inning’s third run and Rafter came through with a two-run single through the right side for a 5-0 SU lead.

Susquehanna added another run in the sixth on Chlebove’s two-out RBI single to make it 6-0.

The Eagles wasted a leadoff double in the sixth but loaded the bases against Lewis with two outs in the seventh. Lindsey Kosicki took advantage of the situation by knocking the ball over the fence for a grand slam that quickly cut SU’s lead to just two (6-4). Lewis settled down, though, and got Rachel Smith to ground out to end the game.

Susquehanna had an easier time in game two, scoring 10 runs while starting pitcher Jamie Fesinstine (Long Valley, N.J./West Morris Central) held the Eagles to just one run on nine hits with six strikeouts.

The two through five hitters racked up eight hits and seven RBI. Neveroski was 2-for-4 with three RBI and LaCoe had two hits and two RBI. Chlebove added another two hits to go along with two runs scored and two RBI.

The Crusaders took a 1-0 lead in the first thanks to a LaCoe RBI bunt and maintained that one-run lead before putting five runs on the board in the fourth inning. The first run scored on a Juniata error and Chlebove sent home two more runs with her single up the middle. Neveroski followed with a two-run double in the very next at-bat to extend SU’s lead to 6-0.

In the fifth, Susquehanna added an insurance run on Brynn Musser’s (Selinsgrove, Pa./Selinsgrove Area) RBI single up the middle for a 7-0 ballgame.

The Eagles finally got on the board in the bottom of the fifth, pushing one run across the plate to trim SU’s lead to 7-1.

However, Neveroski and LaCoe opened the seventh inning with back-to-back solo shots as part of a three-run inning that made it 10-1, which remained the final score as Fesinstine kept Juniata off the scoreboard in the seventh.

The Crusaders remain on the road to face Gettysburg on April 22 in a doubleheader starting at 3 p.m.