Slippery Rock softball was swept by PSAC conference opponent Mercyhurst in a pair of one-run games Tuesday afternoon.
The Rock dropped game one by a score of 1-0 and game two by a score of 4-3. With the losses, Slippery Rock sees their overall record drop to 8-11 and only 1-5 in PSAC West conference play. Mercyhurst improves to 18-16 overall and 4-4 in PSAC West conference play.
Game one turned into a pitcher’s duel as Slippery Rock’s Shaylee Ianno and Mercyhurst Annie Truelove went toe to toe. The game was scoreless going into the bottom of the seventh inning with both pitchers posting a shutout.
However, Mercyhurst won the game on a walk-off single by Samantha Elmers with two outs in the inning.
The inning started off with a strikeout but Mercyhurst drew back-to-back walks, which moved runners to second and first with only one out.
Slippery Rock’s offense was nonexistent as they finished the game with only three hits, which were all singles that spread out through three different innings.
Slippery Rock’s Shaylee Ianno (6-5) took the loss after pitching six innings, giving up one run and striking out three. Mercyhurst’s Annie Truelove (6-8) got the win while pitching seven scoreless innings and getting five strikeouts.
In game two, Mercyhurst jumped out to a 2-0 lead with two runs in the third inning on a two RBI single.
Slippery Rock finally got on the scoreboard with three runs in the fifth inning to take a 3-2 lead. Emily Lobdell hit a two-run homer, which scored Allie Lairmore who walked to lead off the inning.
Later in the inning with two outs, Emily Lobdell delivered again with an RBI single that scored Katie Saluga.
Mercyhurst responded in the bottom of the fifth inning by scoring two runs off Slippery Rock throwing errors to take a 4-3 lead. Slippery Rock had a chance to tie or take the lead with a hit batter and single by Alaynna Beers but stranded both runners to end the inning.
Offensively, Slippery Rock was led by Katie Saluga who went 2-4 with a run scored and Emily Lobdell who went 1-3 with a home run, two RBI’s, and a run scored.
Slippery Rock pitcher Ashley Knight (2-5) took the loss while pitching four innings, giving up three hits, two runs and two strikeouts.
Prior to facing Mercyhurst, SRU earned a split against Gannon, winning the first game 5-3 and losing the second 5-1.
In the first game, Slippery Rock’s offense was led by Jenna Geibel who went 4-4 at the plate on the day with two home runs, three walks and scored two runs.
On Monday, third baseman Geibel was named PSAC Western Division Player of the week with outstanding performances against Edinboro and Gannon. During the week, she batted .727 (8-11) with two home runs, five RBI’s, and three runs scored. She is a two time PSAC West Honoree and has started all 17 games this season for the Rock.
Slippery Rock was not able to maintain the momentum from game one and failed to complete the sweep with a 5-1 loss in game two.
Head coach Becky Sciacca said that the team had its moments against Gannon and was satisfied with the split, but will look to get the sweep next time.
“I think we played well against Gannon,” Sciacca said. “We split with them and that was a good thing. Hopefully, next time we play them we’ll beat them twice.”
Also in the past week, SRU was swept in a double header against Edinboro University with a 6-4 loss and a 7-1 loss.
Sciacca said that the team is working on figuring out exactly what the strengths and weaknesses of the team are and that they change from game to game.
“Our strengths and weaknesses depend on the day,” she said. “Some days it’s our hitting that is doing great and some days it’s our defense that picks up the slack. Then on other days we struggle in both and our pitching steps up.”
Next up for Slippery Rock is a road doubleheader against California University of Pennsylvania today with the first game of the double header scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m. followed by the nightcap at 4:30 p.m.