SALEM, Va. — The IUP softball team wrapped up weekend play at the Atlantic Region Challenge on a positive note, storming back to beat UMass-Lowell, 7-5, in the afternoon game of Sunday’s doubleheader.
Stef Poates and Jen Beaver each blasted a three-run home run for the Crimson Hawks to lead them to a comeback from a 4-0 deficit.
A senior catcher, Poates drilled her first home run of the season in the bottom of the third inning to get the Crimson Hawks within a run, 4-3.
Poates is coming off an injury-filled junior season, which limited her to only 14 games last season.
UMass-Lowell responded in the next inning, adding a single run to extend its lead to 5-3, but the Crimson Hawks weren’t fazed.
Beaver delivered her three-run blast in the bottom of the fourth to put IUP ahead for good, 6-5.
Jasa Mitchell, who homered on Friday and Saturday for IUP, rounded out the scoring for the Crimson Hawks with a fifth-inning sacrifice fly.
Tara Senn earned the win, giving up five runs and two walks in five innings. Alexa Campbell relieved Senn in the sixth and threw two scoreless innings to earn the save.
In the early game, IUP dropped a 4-2 decision to Fairmont State after blowing a 2-1 fifth-inning lead.
IUP held a 2-1 lead, but Fairmont State plated three unearned runs in the fifth inning to take the lead, and the Falcons never relinquished it.
Kaylee Prendergast put IUP ahead 2-1 in the fourth inning with a two-out RBI single.
Christy Mauk got IUP within 4-3 with an RBI double in the seventh, but the Falcons closed the door on IUP’s rally.
Campbell got the start for IUP, giving up one earned run — four total — in seven innings while recording six strikeouts.
Mauk went 2-for-4, and Prendergast, Beaver and Mary Ward each went 1-for-3.
IUP, which was playing for the first time since Feb. 15 this weekend, went 3-2 at the tournament.
IUP (4-3) travels to Clermont, Fla., and the Hawks will play Shippensburg and Slippery Rock on Tuesday in the National Training Center Spring Games.