Softball sweeps Golden Eagles, 8-7 and 6-4

The Mercyhurst University softball team swept Clarion University in a doubleheader at home on Friday. Freshman Heather Nye recorded both of the wins after coming in as a relief pitcher.

Senior Annie Truelove started on the mound in game one for the Lakers and senior Alexandra Puckly took game two. Game one’s win came by a walk off single in the bottom of the seventh by junior Shannon Minihane, making the final 8-7. Game two’s win came in the eighth inning after another walk-off, this time a double to center field by freshman Emily Hair, making the final score 7-6.

“I look up to the senior pitchers, Annie and Puck, so much. The three of us work very well together, and I know they both have my back when I’m out there no matter what,” Nye said.

Clarion took an early lead in the first game after a three-run home run by Eagles seniorTaylor Powell in the top of the first inning. The Lakers responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning with an RBI single by sophomore Rachel DiBartolomeo.

In the top of the second, the Golden Eagles posted three runs, calling for Nye to relieve Truelove. Nye pitched the next six innings to close the game, giving up one earned run in the fourth after a solo home run by Clarion junior, Christina Tressler.

“I knew I had to do what I could to hold them the first game,” said Nye. “I went in there confident, even though we were down, because I knew my teammates would do the work they needed to with the bats, and get it done in the field to get the win in the end.”

Three runners made it home in the fifth inning after a ball from DiBartolomeo was dropped in center field. Hair brought DiBartolomeo home with a double to center, making the game 7-5.

Junior Taylor Jezuit tied the game for the Lakers in the bottom of the sixth with her second home run this season, bringing in freshman Cassandra Egelston.

The Lakers took the victory in the bottom of the seventh after DiBartolomeo singled, again stole second and Minihane followed up with a walk-off RBI single to right field.

In game two, Clarion took the first inning after a two-run homerun by senior Lydia Middaugh. The Lakers tied the game in the bottom half of the inning after DiBartolomeo and Minihane scored.

Clarion retook the lead in the sixth inning and extended the lead into the seventh, 6-4. Nye relieved Puckly after she allowed a run.

“I know my [team] is going to work as hard as I am, freshman or senior, and with the team’s performance this weekend, it was a battle. We fought through each game together,” Puckly said.

Nye struck out the next three batters in the eighth inning.

“Getting playing time as a freshman is amazing,” Nye said. “I have worked my whole life for this, so I take advantage of every opportunity I get when I step on the mound.”

Mercyhurst’s next games are against Seton Hill University and University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown on Friday and Saturday, respectively.