NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. – Penn State New Kensington softball was triumphant in two games against Penn State Mont Alto, 10-2 and 8-2. These wins bring the Lions to 4-4 in the conference and 6-12 overall.
New Kensington began the first game with a nice lead on Mont Alto. Allowing no hits in the top of the first, New Kensington was soon up to bat. Abigail Michelucci (Canonsburg, Pa.) was up to the plate and singled. She then stole second and Calle Zmenkowski (Cheswick, Pa.) walked. They both advanced to the next base and with a double by Hannah Berry (Leechburg, Pa.), Michelucci and Zmenkowski scored. Berry and Nicole Skokowski (Oil City, Pa.) were next to score after Brittney Wolford (Lower Burrell, Pa.) singled. The Lions were already ahead 4-0 at the start of the second inning.
Mont Alto was able to get themselves two runs in the top of the second, making the score 4-2 heading into the third.
This time around Mont Alto didn't have any runs, but New Kensington got themselves four more. Berry was first to make it on base after she was walked. Berry advanced to second and Skokowski reached first. Wolford singled, and Berry and Skokowski scored on the throw. Wolford ran to third on a wild pitch and made it home when Becca Wilhelm (Upper Burrell, Pa.) singled to right center. Wilhelm advanced to third and scored due to a single from Michelucci. New Kensington was still in the lead, 8-2, heading into the fourth inning.
Again, Mont Alto didn't score any in the top of the fourth, but New Kensington did. Zmenkowski made her way around the bases and was brought in with a single from Skokowski. The Lions scored again in the bottom of the sixth, which got them their win.
Wolford had the most RBIs during the game, four, and Wilhelm and Berry each had two. Berry also hit the only double of the game. Michelucci pitched for the whole game and struck out five while doing so.
The second game was just as successful for New Kensington.
In the second inning, Mont Alto scored one run, but that didn't stop New Kensington from gaining back their early lead.
Berry and Skokowski both made it on base after being walked. With a few advances, they were in scoring range for when Wolford singled. Wilhelm batted next and doubled to center field. Michelucci singled to left center, which allowed Wolford and Wilhlem to score. Michelucci also scored when Zmenkowski doubled to right center. This put the Lions ahead 5-1.
New Kensington scored again in the bottom of the fourth, two. Sami Grazioli (East Brady, Pa.) and Zmenkowski both got on base in time for Berry to single and bring them both home. Heading into the fifth, Mont Alto was down 7-1.
With no runs scored in the fifth, the score remained 7-1. In the bottom of the sixth, Zmenkowski singled to right field. Erika Finn (Upper Burrell, Pa.) singled to center field, advancing Zmenkowski to second. They both moved to the next base when Berry grounded out to shortstop. Then on a wild pitch, Zmenkowski scored. The score was 8-1 after New Kensington's last out.
Mont Alto only got themselves one run in the top of the seventh inning, but it wasn't enough to pull ahead.
Wolford and Berry had RBIs, Zmenkowski and Wilhelm doubled, and Zmenkowski struck out seven after pitching the entire game.
New Kensington will play two games against Penn State Beaver on Friday, April 5. The games are scheduled to take place at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Written by Janet Surma