For the second straight day, the IUP softball team blasted four home runs to pad its conference-leading total and managed a doubleheader split with Slippery Rock in PSAC West action Sunday, losing the first game 10-2 in five innings before hitting three homers to win the second game, 7-1.
In the second game, Jasa Mitchell hit a pair of solo home runs and Rachel Francis hit a two-run shot, and IUP broke open a tied game with a six-run seventh inning.
Mitchell hit her first homer in the fourth to give IUP a 1-0 lead, but Slippery Rock responded with a run in the same inning to tie the game.
Then, in the seventh, IUP staged a six-run rally with two outs to put the game away. Meghan Carney hit a run-scoring single to start the rally, Kaylee Prendergast brought home another run with an RBI double, and Hannah Mercer followed with an RBI single to make it 4-1. Francis hit her two-run homer next, and Mitchell capped the outburst with her second homer and her fifth of the weekend.
Mitchell finished as the only IUP hitter with multiple hits, going 3-for-4.
Amanda Spindler (5-1) earned the win, giving up four hits and one run in seven innings, her only blemish a solo home run allowed. She struck out five and walked two.
IUP got off to a good start in the opener, taking a 2-0 lead in the first inning on Mercer’s two-run homer, but that was the lone bright spot. The Crimson Hawks mustered just two hits over the final four innings, and Slippery Rock enforced the mercy rule with a six-run fifth inning.
The Rock teed off on IUP starter Alexa Campbell (5-3), tagging her for 12 hits, including a pair of home runs, and 10 runs (four earned) in 4 2-3 innings.
The loss was the first for IUP (13-5, 7-1) in PSAC West play after winning six straight to open division play. That stretch included a doubleheader sweep of Mercyhurst in the Crimson Hawks’ home opener Saturday. IUP won 9-1 in six innings and 6-4, hitting four homers in the process.
Mitchell hit three of them in the mercy-rule shortened first game and finished with five RBIs, and Christi Mauk hit the other one, a two-run shot that broke a 4-4 tie in the sixth inning of the second game.
IUP leads the PSAC with 24 home runs, and the Crimson Hawks have a conference-best .495 slugging percentage. Mitchell is the conference leader with eight homers and ranks second in slugging (.889). With 21 career homers, Mitchell is seven behind Sarah White (2003-06) for the school career record.
IUP welcomes Wheeling Jesuit on Thursday.
GOLF: IUP’s Jack Owen set a tournament single-round scoring record with an even-par 70 to lead IUP into first place after the opening day of West Chester’s Edwin B. Cottrell Invitational.
Owen’s 70 broke by one stroke the previous record, held by IUP’s Leo Acklin, who shot a 71 in 2010. Owen shot a 37 on the front nine and a 33 on the back.
Max Kirsch shot a 72 and sits in fourth place, two strokes back. Zack Kempa is in fifth place with a 73.
IUP posted the only team score under 300 with a 291, and the Crimson Hawks have a 14-shot lead over California entering today’s final round.
BASEBALL: IUP’s troubling offensive woes continued as the Crimson Hawks produced just two runs and lost both games of a PSAC West doubleheader to California, 5-1 and 8-1, at Consol Energy Park in Washington.
In the opener, IUP outhit the Vulcans 8-6, but the Crimson Hawks couldn’t come up with hits when it mattered. IUP left seven runners on base and went 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
Austin Mock finished 2-for-3, and Dylan Tice accounted for IUP’s lone run with a fifth-inning RBI double, after the Crimson Hawks had fallen behind 5-0.
Kyle Zaorski (2-4) struggled with his control and took the loss, giving up six hits, five runs and eight walks in 4 2-3 innings.
In the second game, California took a 2-0 lead in the first and never looked back. The Vulcans tacked on six more runs in the fourth for an 8-0 lead and held IUP to just four hits and one unearned run.
Mock went 2-for-3.
Zach DeTillio (3-2) took the loss, giving up six hits and eight runs in 3 2-3 innings.
Midway through the season, IUP is tied for 15th in the 16-team PSAC with a .250 team batting average, and the Crimson Hawks rank near the bottom of the conference in most major offensive categories.
IUP (11-14, 5-7 PSAC West) is scheduled to play host to California on Tuesday in its home opener.
TENNIS: Playing their seventh match in 11 days, the banged-up Crimson Hawks saw their six-match winning streak come to an end with a 6-3 loss to Chestnut Hill at the Maple Street Courts.
With three of its players battling injuries or illnesses, IUP forfeited a singles and doubles match each and trailed 2-0 before the first serve.
Tanya Timko and Erika Schnaas accounted for all of IUP’s points on the day. They won their doubles match, 9-8, and then both won in singles play. Timko won a three-set marathon 5-7, 6-4, 12-10, while Schnaas won in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2.
In Saturday’s action, IUP beat Ashland (Ohio), 8-1. IUP won all six singles matches.
LACROSSE: In a game played Saturday, Amy Weinberg set a PSAC record with 11 assists as first-place IUP crushed East Stroudsburg, 27-11.
Weinberg’s 11 assists are a PSAC single-game record and rank third in NCAA Division II history. She added a goal and finished with 12 points to tie a single-game school record for points.
Kim Hooven and Drew Hayden had five goals apiece, Sarah Ward scored four times, Michelle Zakrzewski and Lillienne Kane had three goals each, and Carissa Smith had two goals.