Emily Estep struck out a career-high 15 batters in Game 2 at Millersville on Saturday afternoon as the Shippensburg University softball team won 5-2 to force a doubleheader split with the Marauders and clinch the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Division for the PSAC playoffs next week. The Raiders dropped Game 1 by a score of 2-0.
SU will play the top seed in the Central Division on Wednesday at 1 p.m. from Field 2 at the ASA of PA Jake Kislan Softball Complex in Drifton, Pa.
Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Bloomsburg University and Lock Haven University are still in contention for the Central’s No. 1 seed. The Crimson Hawks have wrapped up division play with an 11-5 record while the Huskies and Bald Eagles are each 9-5 and had division doubleheader finales scheduled Sunday.
Estep earned her sixth win of the season with a four-hit, complete-game performance in the nightcap. The 15 strikeouts surpassed her previous career high of 13, set earlier this season against Catawba. It is the most by a Raider in a game since Kelley Tiesi fanned 15 on May 4, 2006, in a PSAC tournament loss to Lock Haven.
Jessie Trammell went 4-for-7 on the day with two RBIs in Game 2, while senior third baseman Meg Lehman hit a two-RBI single in the Raiders’ four-run second-inning effort in the second game. Sophomore left fielder Hilary Lyons went 3-for-6 with a walk on the day with two runs scored in Game 2.
For the second day in a row, freshman pitcher Liz Parkins went the distance for the Raiders. In Saturday’s opener, Parkins allowed two runs on seven hits while striking out three.
In Game 1, after the Raiders left three combined runners on base in the second and third innings, the Marauders got on the board in the bottom half of the third with an RBI double immediately following a two-out single.
MU added another run with two hits in the fifth, as its pitcher, Alicia Hughes, held the Raiders to just one hit in the final four innings in her complete game victory.
However, Game 2 would be a different story for the Raider softball team.
Lyons singled to lead off the game before stealing second and advancing to third on a groundout. Trammell then brought Lyons home with an RBI single. The Marauders earned three hits in the bottom half of the opening inning, however, and tied the game at 1 heading into the second.
The Raiders answered back with a big second as every spot in the order went up to bat. Sophomore second baseman Rachel Shumway began the frame with a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from freshman center fielder Tyler Thompson.
Two batters later, with Shumway still on second, Kiersten Darhower began the two-out rally by reaching first on an MU infield error that moved Shumway to third. Lyons then walked to load the bases, setting up Lehman’s two-run single that plated Shumway and Darhower.
With Lyons advancing to second, shortstop Taylor Weisman singled her home and advanced Lehman to third in the next at-bat. Lehman then crossed home plate with another Trammell RBI single for a 5-1 SU lead.
MU tacked on another run with a lead-off home run in the bottom of the second inning to cut its deficit to 5-2. That hit would be the last hit that Estep would give up on the day, however, as aside from a hit batter in the fifth, she was perfect for the final five frames.