Hilary Lyons found herself in the same spot in back-to-back games on Monday afternoon. Both times she delivered for the Raiders, driving in the game-winning run.
The Shippensburg University softball team (24–8, 10–6 PSAC) swiped two games from Kutztown University (14–21, 6–10), 1–0 and 4–3, both in walk-off fashion.
Game 1 included a pitcher’s duel between SU’s Liz Parkins and KU’s Dominique Ficara, both throwing more than 100 pitches.
Parkins was untouchable for the Raiders as she scattered five hits over nine innings of work while fanning eight Golden Bear batters.
Ficara, who gave up 13 hits over 8.1 innings of work, had a bend-but-not-break attitude. Despite the stunning 13 hits, the Raiders were unable to push a run across until the final inning.
Jenny Peel, who went 2-for-4 in Game 1, started the late rally for the Raiders when she singled to left-center field. Tyler Thompson followed Peel, laying down a textbook bunt, which she beat out. Briana Giovenco kept the rally going for the Raiders when she singled through the left side. It looked as if Peel was going to score the game-winning run but SU third base coach, Ben DeShong, held Peel late, causing her to put on the breaks quickly and dive back to the bag.
Peel was injured on the play and Taylor Llewellyn came in to pinch run.
Lyons stepped up to the plate with the game on her shoulders — and delivered. Lyons was behind in the count 0–2 but capitalized on a mistake from KU’s pitcher.
Lyons drove the pitch back up the middle, scoring Llewellyn for the game-winning run.
The entire Raider team stormed to the field to congratulate Lyons on her game-winning hit, but the celebration did not last long as the Raiders had to play Game 2 in 30 minutes.
Game 2 featured Emily Estep in the circle for the Raiders while Savannah Nierintz took the circle for the Golden Bears.
KU knocked Estep around in the first inning, scoring one run on two hits.
The Raiders retaliated with runs of their own in the second, third and fifth innings.
Estep was in a groove coming into the seventh inning, but KU battled back to score two runs of its own, tying the game at 3–3. Estep minimalized the damage and allowed the Raiders to have another chance for a dramatic finish. SU took full advantage of the opportunity.
Thompson reached base on a single to third base. Giovenco moved Thompson on a sacrifice bunt.
Lyons stepped to the plate once again and did not shy away.
Lyons took the first pitch for a ball and jumped on the second pitch, driving it into left field. Thompson scored from second base, completing the Raiders two game sweep.
Thompson had a stellar day at the plate for the Raiders going 5-for-7 with two runs scored.
Lyons recorded just two hits in seven plate appearances on Monday, but those two hits were the most important.
SU returns to the field Friday when they travel to East Stroudsburg University for a doubleheader against the Warriors.