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Bison win first NEAC game of the season, split doubleheader with Penn St.-Abington

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Gallaudet University won its first conference game Saturday when the Bison softball team defeated Penn St.-Abington in the second game of the doubleheader, 11-3 in five innings, at the GU Softball Complex. The visiting Nittany Lions won the first game 8-5.

Gallaudet (3-17, 1-3 NEAC South Division) scored three runs in the first inning and four runs in the second and third inning to take the eight-run lead, 11-3. Junior outfielder Alicia Johnson (San Jose, Calif.) had the big hit in the third inning when her triple with the bases loaded scored three runs and she scored on the same play after a fielding error in the outfield. Johnson had a two-run single in the first inning and a RBI groundout in the second.

Sophomore Kara Gulvas (Crown Point, Ind.) had a two-run double in the second inning as the Bison took a 7-0 lead early on. Penn St.-Abington (7-7, 3-1 NEAC South) answered back with three runs in the top of the third before GU pushed across four runs in the bottom half. Both teams had issues in the field as the Nittany Lions had five errors while the Bison committed four miscues.

Sophomore starting pitcher Rachel Sweigart (Big Rock, Ill.) pitched the complete game in the circle for the Bison to earn her second win of the season. Sweigart (2-6) allowed three runs on three hits, walked three and struck out one.

In the first game, Gallaudet held a brief 2-1 lead before it threw things away in the third inning with four errors which allowed Penn St.-Abington to score four runs and take a 5-2 lead. The Nittany Lions would not give up the lead the rest of the game as its advantage grew to 7-2 before GU pushed across two runs in the fifth and one run in the seventh.

Second baseman Trish Watson slammed a two-run home run in the fourth inning for the Nittany Lions as she scored twice to go with her two RBI. Third baseman Mariellen Medernach scored a game-high three runs. Penn St.-Abington starting pitcher Tiffany Sipler (4-3) earned the complete game win as she allowed five runs on five hits, walked seven, threw two wild pitches and recorded one strikeout.

Freshman Montana Murphy (Simi Valley, Calif.) took the loss for the Bison as she allowed seven runs (five earned) on six hits, four walks, five wild pitches and three strikeouts. Freshman catcher Elena Ciccarelli (Whitesboro, N.Y.) had a two-run double in the second inning to give GU the early lead.

GU will host College of St. Elizabeth tomorrow (Sunday, April 1) at noon in a NEAC doubleheader.