Wild 7th inning ends with Edinboro’s first PSAC West win

Category:  Sports
Wednesday, April 25th, 2018 at 6:10 PM
Wild 7th inning ends with Edinboro’s first PSAC West win by Chris Rosato Jr.
Photo: Christopher Rosato Jr.

Edinboro came alive in the late innings and rallied back from an 8-1 deficit in the bottom of the seventh, earning their first PSAC West victory of the season in a game against Slippery Rock University on Sunday at home.

Slippery Rock struck early and often, looking to put away the first game of a doubleheader quickly after the start was delayed by over an hour due to confusion with the scheduled umpires.

Allie Fischer singled with the bases loaded to bring in Slippery Rock’s first two runs in the first inning. They struck for four more runs in the third inning. 

Kailey Myers led off the top of the fourth with a solo home run to boost Rock’s lead to 7-0, while a Becca Roesch single in the sixth brought around Megan Brown from second to score and put Slippery Rock up by eight.

Edinboro’s Lauren Gierlak then doubled with two outs in the sixth and scored on a Shannon Gilbert double to put the Fighting Scots on the board. Olivia Jankowski flied out to end the inning with Slippery Rock still leading 8-1.

After a three-up, three-down inning on defense, the Fighting Scots returned to the dugout ready to prove themselves. 

Brittany Allen led off the inning with a single up the middle, and singles by Victoria Allocco and Courtney Allen brought her around to score Edinboro’s first run of the seventh. Roni Lipinski then singled in Allocco, and Head Softball Coach Dan Gierlak brought on freshman Maycee Shumaker to pinch hit with runners on second and third and no outs.

Shumaker came through with a clutch double to clear the bases and bring Edinboro to within three runs. Cheyenne Bothun was brought on to run for Shumaker, scoring on a Lauren Gierlak double to bring the score to 8-6 with only one out in the inning.

Gilbert was then hit by a pitch, Jankowski struck out and Brittany Allen singled to load the bases with two outs for Allocco, who delivered with a line drive to the gap in right-center field, scoring all three runners to give Edinboro the walk-off 9-8 win, their first in conference play.

Dan Gierlak said the win was a good character builder and confidence booster for the team, who had previously lost their first eight PSAC West matchups.

“It feels great,” he said. “I mean, for the kids that worked real hard, what a way to come back.”

Sunday’s delayed games were also prefaced by Edinboro’s Senior Day celebration. Kerri Stevens, one of Edinboro’s three main pitchers, is the only senior on the team, and was honored.

In Sunday’s second game, Edinboro failed to hold onto a 3-2 lead after letting Slippery Rock bat around their order in the sixth.

Stevens, who started the second game for the Fighting Scots, found herself behind early. With the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the first, Allocco lost a pop fly in the sun, allowing the ball to drop and two Slippery Rock runners to score.

Dan Gierlak said the team’s biggest problem this season has been giving away runs with errors.

“You can’t give people outs in this conference because every out matters,” he said. “And it’ll come back to bite you. And it’s come back to bite us a couple times.”

The Fighting Scots tied things up in the bottom of the first and took the lead with two outs in the third inning after Gilbert earned her second single of the game and moved over to second base on a passed ball. Jankowski then singled to bring Gilbert in to score and put Edinboro in the lead, 3-2.

All told, Gilbert went 3-for-6 in Sunday’s two games with two runs and two RBIs. Her single in the first inning marked the ninth consecutive game in which she recorded a hit.

Slippery Rock rallied for four runs in the top of the sixth inning to boost them to a 6-3 win.

Edinboro travels to Slippery Rock for doubleheader

Edinboro dropped two games the day before while visiting Slippery Rock’s campus.

Two loud thuds teased a come-from-behind win for Edinboro at Slippery Rock on Saturday, but they couldn’t hold on to the lead and fell 6-4 in the first game.

The first thud came from the bat of Allocco as she swatted a deep pop fly in the top of the sixth inning with the bases loaded and one out.

The Rock’s center fielder, Emily Nagle, produced the second thud when she slammed into the outfield fence while ranging back, hoping to make the catch and hold onto Slippery Rock’s 3-0 lead. The ball landed on the other side. Allocco hit a grand slam, and a three-run deficit became a 4-3 Edinboro lead.

Dan Gierlak praised Allocco for her superb bat control. He said her ability to hit the ball wherever she wants makes her fun to watch.

“[She] hits the ball hard. She doesn’t look like she’s swinging very hard, [but] she makes great contact,” he explained. “She really does, and when she’s on, man, it’s just hit after hit after hit.”

The excitement was short lived, as Amanda Metz, Edinboro’s starting pitcher, surrendered a full-count lead-off home run to Slippery Rock’s Guglielmino, equaling the score back at 4-4.

Stevens, who came on to relieve Metz, gave up a base hit followed by a home run to surrender the lead back to Slippery Rock, 6-4. Stevens then struck out the next two Rock hitters to escape any further damage.

Edinboro fell behind in the first inning after catcher Lipinski seemed to struggle finding the ball in the air. Two dropped pop-ups in foul territory allowed The Rock to score with the bases loaded.

With the bases still loaded, Lipinski got called for catcher’s interference, giving Allie Fischer a free base and Slippery Rock a free run to give The Rock a 2-0 lead.

Slippery Rock added another run in the fifth to lead 3-0 until the eventful sixth inning.

In the second game, it was Edinboro who would capitalize on a Slippery Rock error to draw the first blood. 

Edinboro’s lead-off hitter, Danna Heh, reached first after a dropped third strike. She moved over to second on a Shannon Gilbert base hit, but was thrown out trying to score on a Jankowski bloop single to center field. Gilbert and Jankowski took extra bases on the throw home, putting runners on second and third for Edinboro with one out.

After Rose Haggerty struck out, Brittany Allen singled to bring in the Fighting Scots’ first run of the game.

Edinboro added to their lead in the top of the third inning when Haggerty drilled a line drive off the glove of a jumping Rock first baseman Fischer, allowing Jankowski to score from first to give ‘Boro a 2-0 lead.

The Rock tied the game up in the bottom of the third when Hawley singled in two runs with the bases loaded.

Edinboro took the lead once more in the fourth after Allen worked to put herself in scoring position. After getting hit by a pitch and moving to second on a Lipinski sacrifice bunt, she stole third base and then scored when Ashley Pearson grounded out to the third baseman.

The 3-2 Edinboro lead held until the bottom of the sixth inning, when Slippery Rock sent nine batters to the plate. With Slippery Rock runners on first and third, a Fighting Scots miscommunication led to Lipinski throwing the ball into center field trying to throw out the runner stealing from first. 

After Carley Nasca, who started the second game, walked Brown to put a second runner on, Myers smacked a three-run home run off the scoreboard in left field to put Slippery Rock up 6-3.

For coverage of Edinboro’s doubleheader Monday against California University of Pennsylvania, head to B3.

Christopher Rosato Jr. can be reached at sports.spectator@gmail.com

Tags: sports, psac

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