BETHLEHEM, Pa.- Needing a win to play another day in the Landmark Tournament, Juniata softball faced off against Susquehanna in the final of four games on Saturday. JC led 1-0 after 3 2/3 innings but the River Hawks tied and then took the lead for good in the fifth on their way to a 5-1 win.
The loss eliminates the Eagles from the tournament. Susquehanna advances to play Catholic tomorrow morning in an elimination game at 10:00 a.m.
In the second inning, Abby Ebright (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin East) led off for Juniata with a homerun to left field to put the Eagles ahead 1-0. The Eagles looked to add to their lead when Jennifer Carthew (New Paris, Pa./Chestnut-Ridge) doubled to left center with two outs and Molly Ulrich (Homer, NY/Homer Central) walked but Brooke Ridenour (Thurmont, Md./Catoctin) fouled out to end the inning.
Starting pitcher Rachael Bernier (Bellefonte, Pa./Bellefonte Area) was cruising as she did not allow a hit through 3 2/3 of play. She did run into trouble when she walked Jackie Gore and moved her to second on a wild pitch. Lauren Creamer doubled to right field to bring Gore home and tie the game at 1-1. Bernier got Leigh Ann Greenwald to groundout to end the inning.
JC failed to score in their part of the fifth inning. In the SU fifth, Kasey Bost doubled to center to lead off and Kelly Miller reached first on a dropped fly by Ebright. Bernier was able to get Emily Lear to pop into a double play to put two outs up. Brooke Kohler followed with a single up the middle to score Kasey Bost and give the River Hawks a 2-1 lead. After Heather Pearson reached on an error, an Emilie Borman single scored Kohler and a Gore single plated two runs as SU went up 5-1. Gore would be caught stealing to end the inning.
The Eagles looked to rally in the top of the sixth as Ebright singled to left field with two outs and Anna Baran (Tyrone, Pa./Tyrone) walked. The rally ended on Chrisi Lerchen's (Annville, Pa./Annville-Cleona) lineout. After holding the River Hawks in the bottom of the sixth, JC hoped to rally in the top of the seventh. Ridenour double to left with two outs but an Allie Baney (State College, Pa./State College) fly out to right field ended the game.
Bernier lasted 4.2 innings and was tagged for just two earned runs on five hits. She walked one and struck out one. Lerchen took over for her and held Susquehanna off the board with 1.1 innings of two-hit relief.
Ebright was 2-for-3 with a home run, a run scored, and a run batted in. Carthew was also 2-for-3 with a double.