Bradford, Pa. -- The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford softball team split their AMCC doubleheader with La Roche on Saturday, using a dominant performance from Kindra Wessels to win the opener before their late comeback in game two was matched in extras, leading to the split.
Prior to the action, the Panthers recognized two players who will be finishing their playing careers at the conclusion of the season. Catcher KT Marx will be graduating this spring with a degree in Athletic Training after spending 4 seasons with the Panthers. Infielder Dolcey Shunk was also recognized, as she is scheduled to graduate next December with a degree in Pre-Pharmacy.
Kindra Wessels fired a three-hit shutout as the Panthers breezed to a 7-0 game one victory.
- Wessels picked up three straight zeroes to start the game, as she allowed two hits and two walks through the opening three frames. La Roche's best chance to score came after a leadoff walk in the 3rd, as the Redhawks put runners on 1st and 2nd with a two-out infield single. Wessels was able to get out of the inning with a line drive to Chloe Cordova in center.
- The Panthers were able to jump in front in the 3rd, as they used 5 hits to score three runs. Cordova started the rally with a single through the left side and moved to second when Wessels blooped a single over third base. Following a fly-out, Marguerite DeFranco put the Panthers in front as she lined a single into left. A Lexi Peters infield single loaded the bases before Daytona Wentzel delivered a 2-run double to center to break open the score.
- Wessels walked the leadoff batter once again in the 4th. But retired the next three batters on a popup, lineout, and strikeout to post the shutdown inning.
- In the 5th, Wessels retired the side in order before she started another rally that tacked on two runs in the bottom half of the inning. Wessels singed through the left side and then moved to second when Faith McLaughlin did the same. The pair successfully pulled off a double steal and then scored when DeFranco dropped another RBI single into the outfield.
- In the 6th, history repeated itself as Wessels walked the leadoff batter, but quickly retired the next three in a row to keep the Redhawks off the board.
- In the bottom half, the Panthers added two more runs on 2 hits and an error. Rachel Przybysz started the inning by reaching on an error. She scored a batter later when Wessels lined a double into left-center. Wessels took third on a wild pitch and then scored her third run of the game on a McLaughlin single to left.
- Wessels slammed the door shut in the 7th, as after a one-out walk and an infield single made a quick play to start a 1-5-3 double play on a bunt attempt to end the game.
Kindra Wessels (3-7) picked up her 2nd complete-game shutout of the season, allowing just 3 hits and 5 walks. She struck out one. She was also a key cog at the top of the Panther lineup, finishing the game 3 for 4 with 3 runs scored, an RBI double, and a stolen base. Marguerite DeFranco finished the game 2 for 4 and drove in 3 runs. Faith McLaughlin also had a multiple-hit game, finishing 2 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI.
The second game of the doubleheader was the polar opposite of its predecessor, as the teams combined for 34 hits in an extra-inning thriller. The Panthers forced the extra frame with 5 runs in the bottom of the 7th, but eventually fell 15-11 in 8 innings.
- Panther starter Ashley Stein got off to a rough start in the game, as the LaRoche bats quickly scored 3 runs on 5 hits in the first. They used two triples and three singles to score the runs.
- The Panther offense struggled to regain their late-game rhythm from game one as they only mustered a double from McLaughlin n the first and a leadoff single from Imani Jackson in the 2nd.
- Their deficit grew in the 4th, as La Roche scored 3 more runs with a two-out rally. Stein gave up a double down the left field line to score one, and a single to left for the third.
- Pitt-Bradford was able to begin their comeback in the 4th, as they scored 2 runs on a double down the line. Marguerite DeFranco beat out an infield single and moved to second when Peters singled back up the middle. Jackson reached on an error to load the bases before Paige Wertheier grounded a double down the left field line, scoring two runs.
- Stein worked around two singles in the 5th but got three pop-ups to keep the Redhawks at bay. In the bottom half, the Panthers were able to explode for 4 runs, picking up three clutch two-out hits to even the score at 6.
- With two outs and runners on second and third, Jackson lined a double into the right-center gap to bring in two runs. After a walk, Wertheimer lined a single to left to bring in the 5th and Wentzel grounded a single through the left side to add a final run.
- The deadlock would not last long, as the Redhawks quickly chased relief pitcher Megan Kapp. Kapp induce a grounder to short to start the inning but hit the next two batters with a pitch to extend the frame.
- After a throwing error extended the inning, the Redhawks were able to score three more runs on a sacrifice fly and 2 rn single to center. They added to the advantage in the 7th, as a two-out double down the left field line put the Panthers down 5.
- The Panthers battled back, posting their second big inning of the game, bringing in 5 runs on 5 hits and an error. Jackson led off with a single and moved up a base on a Wertheimer single. Daytona Wentzel brought in the first run with a single to center, and then after an error loaded the bases, Faith McLaughlin lined a 3-run double to right-center, She was able to take third on the throw home, putting him in scoring position down 1 run. With two outs, DeFranco delivered against, singling through the left side to tie the game at 3.
- In Extras, Stein struggled to find her footing as the Redhawks placed runner put them ahead, advancing to third on a grounder to short and then scoring on an error in the infield. Stein then gave up a 2-run blast and after a walk, and one final run scored on a walk and a single.
- The Panthers were set down in order in the 8th to end the game.
Ashley Stein (4-5) got the loss after allowing 12 total runs, 9 earned in 7.2 innings pitched. She struck out 3. Meghan Kapp faced three batters, retiring one and hitting the other two with pitches. A pair of panthers set personal bests with 3 hits in the game. Imani Jackson finished 3 for 5 with 3 runs scored and 2 driven in. Freshman Paige Wertheimer also went 3 for 5, bringing in 3 runs. Faith McLaughlin also had 3 RBIs in the game.
After the split, the Panthers are now 7-19 on the season with a 3-5 record in AMCC play. They are currently in 7th place. They will hit the road for another AMCC doubleheader tomorrow, as they will travel to Alfred State. First pitch for game one is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. in Alfred.