The Shippensburg University softball team got nine hits from its seniors on Friday, celebrating a special Senior Day home finale with a doubleheader sweep of Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Eastern Division rival Millersville by scores of 7-0 and 5-4 from Robb Field that clinched a playoff berth for the Raiders.
Shippensburg (21-15, 8-6 PSAC East) claimed the season series over Millersville (23-16, 8-6) with Friday's sweep, winning three of the four matchups after a doubleheader split at MU earlier this year. Therefore, in the event of a tie in the division standings after Saturday's games, SU would earn the No. 2 seed in East and MU would earn the No. 3 seed.
Both teams have clinched playoff berths but will now compete for seeding. On Saturday, Shippensburg travels to East Stroudsburg for a 1 p.m. doubleheader, while Millersville hosts West Chester for a 1 p.m. doubleheader. At next week's PSAC Tournament, the East No. 2 seed opens against the West No. 2 seed at 3 p.m., while the East No. 3 seed opens against Lock Haven (the Central No. 1 seed) at noon.
On Friday, Shippensburg got marvelous contributions from a whole host of players. Senior catcher Macy Luck had a career day, slugging a pair of two-run home runs and a double in Game 1 before delivering a walk-off single in Game 2. Luck had 11 total bases, going 4-for-6 with five RBIs, a walk, a stolen base and two runs scored.
Senior Tara Bicko reached base five times – going 2-for-5 with three walks, a double and three runs scored. Fellow senior Chloe Collins doubled twice, walked, and scored a run at the plate, and threw two innings of valuable relief in Game 2, striking out two. She also robbed a home run in Game 2, making a catch at the top of the fence in center field to end the top of the fourth inning.
Also on Friday, senior Maddie Mulhall returned to the lineup for the first time in more than two months. Mulhall suffered an injury back in February but came back Friday and drew a walk in a pinch-hit appearance, receiving a large ovation from the crowd and her teammates.
All six seniors – Bicko, Collins, Luck, Mulhall, MacKayla Paulus and Anna Warfield – were honored in a ceremony between games.
Junior Taryn Wilson was splendid in the circle, delivering one of her best efforts of the season. Wilson threw a three-hit shutout in the opener – her fourth shutout of the season – and struck out 10 without walking a batter. She earned the Game 2 start as well and threw three innings, and then came back in relief to pitch the sixth and seventh. Wilson got the win, striking out five – including the final two batters of the seventh.
Sophomore Kayla Bonawitz had four hits, including a 3-for-4 effort in the opener, to go along with a run and a stolen base. Fellow sophomore Meghan Klee had an excellent Game 2; she finished the day with an RBI-single, another single, a walk and a sacrifice over the course of seven plate appearances.
Sophomore Micaela Ghanayem ripped a two-run single in the fifth inning of Game 2 that tied the score at 4-4 after the Raiders had fallen behind. Ghanayem had three hits and four RBIs on the day – including an RBI-double in the first inning of Game 2 and a sacrifice fly in the opener.
All nine SU starters had at least one hit in the doubleheader, including singles for Warfield and freshman Bailey Haines and an RBI-single by freshman Courtney Coy. The Raiders totaled 20 hits on the day.