IUP softball picks up three conference wins in weekend doubleheaders

By Jarrod Browne, Lead Sports Writer, J.W.Browne@iup.edu, 4/17/17

The IUP softball team had a successful week, winning three out of four Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) games.

The Crimson Hawks opened up the weekend with a doubleheader against Mansfield University on Friday. IUP sent sophomore Lauren Zola (hospitality management) to pitch in Game 1 of the doubleheader.

Zola pitched 5.1 innings while allowing four runs and recorded six strikeouts in the 8-1 loss for the Crimson Hawks.

“She [Zola] pitched well; she deserved better,” manager Bill Graham said. “We didn’t make some plays to start the sixth inning, and it just snowballed from there.”

During the sixth inning, the Crimson Hawks surrendered their 1-0 lead and allowed Mansfield to close out the inning with eight unanswered runs.

In Game 2, the Crimson Hawks turned to sophomore Megan Risinger (nursing) to pitch. Risinger completed 6.1 innings while allowing two runs for IUP.

Seniors Amanda Spindler (mathematics) and Hannah Mercer (marketing) embraced during their Senior Day ceremony at Podbielski Field.

Leading the way for IUP offensively was freshman Kaitlyn Beers (criminology), who recorded three hits and scored a run.

Not only did this win help the Crimson Hawks in the PSAC standings, but it also marked IUP’s largest bounce-back win of the season.

“They really showed some resiliency bouncing back like that,” Graham said.

On Saturday, the Crimson Hawks welcomed Lock Haven University for another doubleheader. Prior to the game, IUP celebrated the unique careers of two seniors for Senior Day.

Hannah Mercer (marketing) and Amanda Spindler (mathematics secondary education) were honored between games.

“It was a beautiful day, and a chance to honor our seniors,” Graham said. “Hannah will be remembered for having one of the most successful careers in IUP softball history. As for Amanda, she struggled with back injuries her sophomore season and it is great to see her healthy and having fun out there.”

The Crimson Hawks relied on Zola to pitch Game 1, where she allowed five runs through seven complete innings while recording nine strikeouts.

The Crimson Hawks and Bald Eagles traded runs until the bottom of the seventh inning, when Risinger scored the game-winning run.

In Game 2, IUP turned to freshman Macy Mularski (nursing) to take the mound. Mularski pitched a complete game for IUP while allowing one run and striking out two batters in the 3-1 IUP victory.

Knocking in runs for IUP was junior Amanda Parrish (accounting). Parrish knocked in two runs, and Mercer recorded an RBI, as well.The team is now 7-5 in the PSAC.

Moving forward, IUP will continue its out-of-conference play Wednesday with one game at Mercyhurst University. IUP will then return to conference play this weekend with a single game against Bloomsburg University on Friday, and another game Saturday against Clarion University.