Panthers sweep defending AMCC champs

Sydney Mosby pitching
Sydney Mosby

Playing for the first time in nearly three weeks, the Pitt-Bradford softball team opened AMCC play Thursday with a stunning sweep of Penn State Behrend. The Panthers won both games by identical scores of 6-4.

Pitt-Bradford had not played since St. Patrick's Day and spent the last two-plus weeks waiting out the weather since returning from its Spring Break trip in Fort Myers, Fla. The Panthers showed little rust in knocking off the defending AMCC champions. Behrend was picked along with Penn State Altoona to win the league this year.

The Panthers, who have won five straight, rallied for four runs in their final inning of game one to stun the Lions. It was the team's first comeback win of the season.

Trailing 3-0, Sydney Mosby doubled in a run in the fourth and she scored moments later on Lauren Hogue's single. Behrend added a tally in the sixth to extend its lead to 4-2.

Heidi Lucke walked to open the seventh, but Emily Fair grounded into a double play in the next at bat. Olivia Taylor connected for a two-out triple, and Jamie Winzeler followed with a walk. Alyssa Cunningham reached on a fielder's choice as Winzeler was safe at second to load the bases. An error by the Lions' shortstop on the next play allowed Taylor and Winzeler to score, tying the game at four.

After Hogue was hit by a pitch to load the bases once again, Meagan Lewis ripped a single to left field, pushing the Panthers ahead 6-4.

Mosby retired the first two batters in the bottom of the seventh yet ran into trouble by surrendering base hits to the next two batters. Chelsi Riordan walked to load the bases yet Mosby ended the threat by inducing Stacey Herzog into a comebacker for the final out.

Mosby allowed four runs, three earned, on 11 hits while improving to 4-2 on the season. She walked two and struck out three. Lewis and Cunningham each had two hits apiece, and Cunningham scored twice.

The Panthers used the same script in game two, erasing a three-run deficit to complete the sweep.

Mosby once again ignited the comeback. Down 3-0, her RBI single in the third trimmed the lead to two, and Lauren Hogue tied the game in the next at bat with her first career home run, a two-run shot.

After Behrend inched ahead by one in the bottom half of the frame, Pitt-Bradford went ahead for good in the fourth. Hogue singled in Cunningham to knot the score at four, and one batter later, Lewis reached on an error to plate another run.

The Panthers added an insurance run in the sixth, and freshman Jenifer Anthony worked around a pair of base runners in the sixth as Pitt-Bradford held on for the win. She retired the side in order in the seventh.

Anthony went six innings in relief of starter Krista Jacobs to earn her first career win. She allowed two runs on seven hits and four walks. She struck out four.

Mosby totaled three hits, Hogue collected three RBIs and Taylor scored a game-high three runs.

Pitt-Bradford improves to 7-5 on the season and will host Franciscan Saturday at 1 p.m. in its home opener. It will be the Panthers' first games on their new field since undergoing renovations last year. A short ceremony will take place prior to the start of the games.