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HAMBURG, NY - Hilbert College swept Penn State Behrend, the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference reigning 2012 champions and the 2013 preseason favorite in exciting fashion on a very windy, but sunny April 7th day. The opening win (12-11) saw the Hawks battle back from a 10-4 deficit to force extra innings. That was followed by another come-from-behind victory (7-5). Today’s final results mark the first time Hilbert (3-3 AMCC, 5-11)has beaten Behrend twice in one season since the Hawks joined the AMCC in 2004.
The Hawks finished the day hitting .403 as a team while holding Behrend to .282. Brittany Hancy had an impressive day connecting for two doubles while driving in five runs off three hits. Crystal Hailey, who knocked in the game winner in the 8th inning to help claim the upset win, scored two runs and stole two bases today. Both Katie Pettis and Eliza Stringham used their powerful swings to knock a game ball over the fence to help pour runs in for the Hawks.
Natalie Whitman earned the opening win in the circle, covering 4.2 innings while striking out five and giving up only 2 hits and 1 run. Jaelyn Gotham earned her third win of the season with seven strikeouts going the full 7 innings.
In the 1pm game, Behrend jumped out to a three-run lead after the first inning. Hilbert responded with 4 runs in the bottom of the second, only to see the Lions put 7 more runs on the board over the next two innings. Finding themselves down 10-4 heading into the bottom of the 5th, Hilbert found ways to tap in 5 runs off 5 hits, while Behrend played an errorless inning. The Hawks defense and strong pitching kicked in late in the game as they prevented Behrend from crossing home plate the rest of the way. Pettis swung on the first pitch of the 6th inning and sailed the yellow ball over center field fence line to tie the game at 10.
Now in extra innings, each team gets to place a runner on second base and they continue with a normal inning. Behrend’s runner stole third base and then scored the Lions only run off a passed ball. It was a frustrating way to allow the visitors to score, but the Hawks didn’t quit. With runners on second and third, Pettis bunted in an attempt to squeeze the 3rd base runner home. That runner was tagged out at the plate. Hilbert still had two base runners, but they also had two outs against them as well. Whitman looped a double into the outfield which scored one runner. Stringham connected for a single which shot Pettis home and the celebration began.
Hancy and Hailey each were credited with three RBIs in the victory.
The night cap game had the same flavor as the first game. Hilbert took an early 1-0 lead, but Behrend chipped away and quietly scored one run each of the next five innings. The Hawks got busy in the bottom of the fifth and sixth innings building a 7-5 lead, allowing them to finish the game in the top of the 7th inning with three quick Behrend outs.
Stringham homered in the 5th inning (2RBI) while Elissa Hall’s single up the middle and Hancy’s double in the 6th secured the win.
Up next for the Hawks is another home game against Medaille College April 10. They are idle then until Sunday, April 14 when they travel to Penn State Altoona.
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