The IUP softball team swept Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) foe University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown in a doubleheader Monday.
The Crimson Hawks opened up the day with a strong offensive performance led by freshman Kassie Kesneck (English), who recorded two doubles, a triple, three RBIs and scored two runs.
Kesneck was not the only Crimson Hawk to have a multiple-hit day, as sophomore Lauren Goetz (kinesiology) had four hits, and senior Hannah Mercer (marketing) had two hits to help lift IUP to a 9-1 victory in Game 1.
Sophomore Lauren Zola (hospitality management) had a strong outing, pitching a complete six innings and recording six strikeouts.
With the win, Zola’s record was lifted to 4-9 with a 3.05 ERA.
Despite Zola’s strong ERA, her record has been compromised due to a tough time receiving run support. This game against UPJ is the first step toward reversing that trend.
“The big offensive day was something that we really needed,” Mercer said. “If we continue on the offensive end like we did against UPJ, we can win some big games and continue to do well as we continue PSAC play.”
The Crimson Hawks won Game 2, but did not have as explosive of a game from the offensive standpoint.
In the 4-2 victory, IUP recorded only six hits, but relied on a strong pitching performance by sophomore Megan Risinger
Risinger pitched a complete game, allowing only two earned runs while recording three strikeouts.
Although the offense struggled in Game 2, Kesneck continued to have a strong day.
Kesneck got two hits while scoring a run and batting one in.
The Crimson Hawks are now 12-13 overall with a 4-4 conference record, positioning them in fourth place in the PSAC Central division.
Moving forward, IUP has an important weekend, as they will be welcoming rivals Mansfield University Friday for a doubleheader and then Lock Haven University for a doubleheader Saturday.
Not only is Saturday’s doubleheader an important PSAC game, but IUP will recognize seniors Amanda Spindler (secondary mathematics education) and Mercer for Senior Day.
IUP plans to keep its offensive success going this weekend against two PSAC rivals.
“To keep the offense going, we just have to dial it back and keep it simple, just like we did against UPJ,” Mercer said. “When we play relaxed and confident, we can be a force on the offensive and defensive ends.”
IUP will begin play at 2:30 p.m. Friday, and Senior Day activities will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday.