DUBOIS, Pa. – Two days after suffering a USCAA World Series-opening loss to Penn State Hazleton, the 10th-seeded Penn State Brandywine softball team used a pair of four-run innings to claim a 9-4 victory and knock Hazleton from the tournament Wednesday morning.
Brandywine (26-17) is now two victories from reaching the national championship round after surviving three elimination games in the last 24 hours. The Lions will play again at 4:00 pm Wednesday.
Brandywine took a lead in the top of the first inning for the fourth-straight outing as Arianna Segich (Ocean City, N.J./Ocean City) tripled to start the frame and came around to score on Rachel Cherubini's (Pottstown, Pa./Pottsgrove) sacrifice fly.
Hazleton evened the game with a run in the second inning, but Brandywine took the lead for good two frames later by pushing four runs across the plate. Morgan Meoli's (Woolwich Twp., N.J./Kingsway Regional) sixth hit of the World Series was a RBI single that gave the Lions the lead. Four batters later, Maddie Malfara (Ardsley, Pa./Abington) drove a single through the middle, scoring two runs, and then came around to score on following a Hazleton throwing error.
Malfara was in the middle of the Lions' second four-run inning of the day as she drove a two-run double to left-center field, upping the lead to 7-1. Alexandra Szpindor (Pottstown, Pa./Pope John Paul II) added another two-run double to the Lions' lead with two outs in the inning.
Szpindor was also the winning pitcher, earning her second win in as many days and eighth of the season. She fanned a pair of Hazleton batters, while surrendering three earned runs in seven innings.
Malfara and Nikki Velez (Gloucester, N.J./Gloucester City) both recorded two hits for the Brandywine offense, which saw all nine hitters reach safely at least once during the game. The Lions' offense has scored 30 runs on 39 hits during its three elimination-game victories.