Infielder Alyssa Nehlen had four hits, inclluding a game-winning single in the first game, to help the Shippensburg University softball team to a doubheader sweep of Pitt-Johnstown. The Raiders are currently ranked sixth in the NCAA Division II Atlantic Region. BILL SMITH/SHIPPENSBURG UNIVERSITY

Shippensburg softball team sweeps Pitt-Johnstown

SHIPPENSBURG – The Shippensburg University softball team rallied on three different occasions Wednesday to come from behind and defeat visiting Pitt-Johnstown in Game 1 of a crossover doubleheader, 8-7 in eight innings, before vanquishing the Mountain Cats 8-0 in five innings in Game 2 on a sunny and pleasant afternoon at Robb Field.

Shippensburg (24-14), which was ranked No. 6 in the first edition of the NCAA Atlantic Region rankings released earlier in the day, got four hits each from sophomore Alyssa Nehlen (Pulaski/West Middlesex), junior Hannah Marsteller (Fredericksburg, Va./Riverbend) and freshman Katelyn Minney (Lititz/Warwick). All three players had two hits in both games.

Pitt-Johnstown (15-14) matched the Raiders with 11 hits in Game 1 and held a 2-0 lead after one inning, a 5-2 lead after five innings and a 7-5 lead entering the bottom of the eighth inning. Julia Mooney had three of the six Mountain Cat RBIs.

With senior Morgan DeFeo (West Grove/Avon Grove) starting the bottom of the eighth on second base due to the international tiebreaker procedure, the Raiders got an infield single from Marsteller, an RBI-single from sophomore Morgan Lindsay (Hereford/Upper Perkiomen (Colgate)), an RBI single from Minney, and a walkoff RBI single from Nehlen to rally and win without recording an out.

Wednesday’s Game 2 was never in doubt after a two-run single in the bottom of the first by Nehlen and a five-run bottom of the second that included the first of two home runs by Marsteller – a three-run shot that landed off the beam of the scoreboard in left field. Marsteller added a solo home run in the fourth inning to make it an 8-0 lead for the Raiders.

Sophomore Emma Flattery (Macomb, Mich./Dakota) recorded a five-inning shutout in Game 2, stranding the bases loaded in the fifth inning to secure the five-inning victory. Flattery retired the first eight hitters she faced and scattered four singles, walking one and striking out three. It was Shippensburg’s seventh shutout of the season and Flattery’s second shutout of the Mountain Cats this season (she threw a three-hit shutout at UPJ on March 18).

Freshman Alicia Ball (Woodstock, Va./Central) went the distance in Game 1, allowing seven runs (five earned) on 11 hits, walking four and striking out five in eight innings. Ball threw 153 pitches in her complete game, while UPJ starter Alyssa Hileman threw just 82 pitches and also threw a complete game.

Nehlen finished the day 4-for-7 with five RBIs. Marsteller was 4-for-6 and was also hit by a pitch and scored five runs. Minney hit the ball hard seemingly every time up, finishing 4-for-7 with a double, stolen base and a couple of loud outs as well.

Sprinter gets PSAC honors for a second straight week

Shippensburg University’s Stephon Brown (Harrisburg/Central Dauphin East) was named the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Men’s Outdoor Track Athlete of the Week on Wednesday afternoon by the league office. It is the second straight week he has received the award.

Brown had both an outstanding individual effort and relay effort this past weekend at Bucknell University’s Bison Outdoor Classic. In the open 100 meters, Brown matched the NCAA provisional qualifying standard with a new personal best, finishing fourth in 10.55 seconds. The time ranks the fastest in the PSAC this season.

He also ran the opening leg on the 4×100-meter relay team that defeated Penn State’s “A” relay. The quartet of Brown, Mo Whittle, Aaron Arp Jr. and Eric Kirk recorded a time of 40.72 seconds to edge the Nittany Lions and break the Bucknell facility record (40.77 seconds by Cornell in 2021) in the process.

Shippensburg U. sprinter breaks her own school record

The Shippensburg University women’s outdoor track & field team had an excellent showing at home on Wednesday in the Midweek Invitational, with Leah Graybill (Lititz/Warwick) breaking her own school record in the 100 meters to highlight a day full of personal bests and conference qualifiers at Seth Grove Stadium.

Graybill was one of five Raiders to set new personal bests in the 100 meters, winning the event in a time of 11.91 seconds. It’s an improvement of .04 seconds from her previous record set at last year’s Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Championships held in Shippensburg.

Sara McKean (Shinglehouse/Oswayo Valley) continued her strong season, running second in the 100 with a PR of 12.37 seconds, while Adriana Baxter (Philadelphia/Parkway Northwest) crushed her personal best with a third-place time of 12.46 seconds. Kayla Dalhouse (Middletown, Md./Middletown) improved to 12.50 seconds, and Jess Sobieski (Collegeville/Upper Dublin (Cabrini)) ran 13.45 seconds.

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