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Penn College Softball Team Finishes Second in PSUAC

The 2009 Lady Wildcat softball team gathers with its coaches for a group photo.Going into the Penn State University Athletic Conference playoffs at Elm Park in Williamsport, Pennsylvania College of Technology softball coach Roger Harris was looking for offensive consistency and hopeful of avoiding any defensive lapses.

On Wednesday, he got the consistency as his Wildcats knocked off top-seeded Penn State Beaver, 6-4, and second-seeded Hazleton, 12-2, to advance to the championship.

In its opener, pitcher Heather Ball (Mansfield) limited PS Beaver to three hits. Her batterymate Samantha Mills (Harrisburg) provided the offensive spark by going 2-for-4 at the plate with two doubles and four runs batted in.

Against Penn State Hazleton, the Wildcats’ bats erupted for 14 hits in a five-inning win. Lisa Miller (Cogan Station) and Jamye Mease (Elizabethtown) both went 2-for-4 with home runs, while Erica Logan (Montoursville) went 2-for-4 and Erin Bannon (Williamsport) 3-for-4.

“We executed very well that night. Everybody was back into the form that they started at at the end of last year and they rose to the occasion at a good time. Everything started to click for them,” Harris said.

On Thursday, paired again against No. 1 seed Penn State Beaver after Beaver worked its way back through the losers’ bracket, fourth-seeded Penn College battled hard, but dropped back-to-back 5-4 decisions and finished second in the conference for the second consecutive season. Overall, Penn College was 15-13. It ended 13-9 in all conference games.

In the first game, the Wildcats built a 3-0 lead after three innings and still led by that score after five frames, but Beaver came back with three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to win and force an “if” game. Ball and Logan both went 2-for-3, while Lauren Fuller (South Williamsport) went 2-for-4.

With everything on the line in the second contest, Beaver opened a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Penn College took a 2-1 lead in the top of the third before Beaver tied it in the bottom half of the inning. The Wildcats again surged ahead 4-2 after five innings, but Penn State Beaver again erupted for three runs in the bottom of the seventh to claim the championship. Mease went 2-for-3 with two triples and Fuller 2-for-4.

“Both games (Thursday), we’re going into the bottom of the seventh inning up by two runs with two outs. We just didn’t execute defensively to get that third out and it came back to bite us,” Harris said.

With the end of the season, the squad bids farewell to several players Fuller, Miller, Mease, Mills, Ball and Kristin Bernard (Mifflin) who helped put Penn College softball back on the map as, over the last four years, the Wildcats were 72-32, captured the PSUAC crown in 2007, and in their final win this year gave Harris his 100th career victory.

“It puts a pretty big hole in our lineup and some pretty big shoes to fill for the others coming up next year,” Harris said. “The level of play at Penn College has tripled in the eight years I’ve been here and I know that it’s going to triple again because there are girls here who, if we can get them to come out, can be great players.”

(Complete rosters and season schedules are available on the college’s Athletics Web site. For more information on the PSUAC, visit on the Web; more about the USCAA also is available online. )

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