Just one day after picking up two huge wins against bitter rival Mercyhurst, the Gannon University softball team looked to continue its stellar PSAC play hosting a doubleheader clash against Slippery Rock University Wednesday, and the Knights were able to do just that, sweeping both games in impressive fashion, 11-1 and 4-3.
The twin wins were among five PSAC victories that the Knights posted on the week, a stretch that improved their conference record to 9-7. Gannon hosted Point Park University in a non-conference pair Tuesday and the two teams split, as the Knights won the first game 5-2 and dropped the second game 7-3 to fall to 18-16 overall,
Gannon enters its final weekend of the regular season in second place in the PSAC West with four games remaining. The top three teams in each division qualify for the PSAC Tournament, which gets under way April 27.
In game one against Slippery Rock, Gannon was led on the defensive side of the ball by junior pitcher Olivia Gumbita, who pitched a complete game allowing seven hits but only one run, striking out five Rock batters along the way to record her ninth win of the season.
It was the Knights’ offense, however, that was most impressive in the victory. Gannon jumped out to an early lead, scoring six runs in the first inning and adding five more in the third, with 10 of their 11 runs coming with two outs.
Sophomore Jackie Martinez led the Knights on offense with two hits, two RBIs and two runs scored. Alyssa Bates, Autumn Smith and Nathaly Pacheco each contributed two hits.
Game two was a closer contest, but Gannon came away with a one-run victory. On offense for the Knights, it was the Jackie Martinez show once again, as she went 4 for 4 at the plate, hitting her first home run of the season, and scoring two runs as well.
Alexa Archambeault, Smith and Bates each contributed one hit in the win.
Kellyn Perich tossed a complete game and picked up her fourth win of the season.
On a beautiful, sunny Friday, Gannon hosted Seton Hill University for yet another doubleheader. The Knights struggled last time out against the Griffins, losing both games of a doubleheader and giving up 29 runs and scoring just two of their own.
The Knights wanted nothing more than sweet revenge this time around, and they got just that, with two shutout victories, 2-0 and 3-0.
In the first game, Gannon scored single runs in the first and fter an RBI single from Perich, and the Knights never looked back.
Gumbita pitched a six-hit, complete-game shutout, improving her record to 10-6. Perich led the offensive attack, recording three hits, while Allie Salerno added two and Martinez and Bates each chipped in one.
In the second game, Perich pitched a complete-game shutout, allowing only three hits in her fifth win of the season.
Gannon jumped out to yet another early lead with two runs coming in the first inning, both with two outs. An insurance run was added in the fourth.
Archambeault was the offensive leader, going 3 for 3 with one RBI and one run scored. Bates Moran and Smith also added hits, while Bates and Moran scored runs as well.
Gannon took a six-game winning streak to Edinboro on Saturday and wound up splitting a doubleheader with the Fighting Scots, losing 2-1 and winning 7-3.
Edinboro took advantage of a dropped fly ball in the fourth inning of the opener to score both of its runs. Despite throwing a five-hit complete game, Gumbita received the loss, bringing her record to 10-7.
The Knights were only able to muster up four hits all game, which came from Martinez, Moran, Bates and Smith.
After the disappointing loss, Gannon was able to turn things around in the nightcap, scoring two runs in the second inning and one in the fourth, and then adding three more in the fifth and one in the sixth to put the game away.
Pacheco was the most dangerous Knight batter with two hits, two RBIs, and one run scored.
Martinez and Smith each contributed two hits and an RBI, while Moran chipped in with two hits as well. Perich had yet another strong performance on the mound, going the distance again, allowing just five hits.
In Tuesday’s doubleheader against Point Park University the Knights split the pair winning the first game 5-2 after freshman Autumn Smith hit a bases clearing double sending in three runs to snap a 2-2. Gumbita completed her 18th complete game of the season and 41st of her career. She also recorded her 300th strikeout in her career in the second inning.
Unfortunately, the Knights dropped the second game 7-3, with senior Alison Benz completing the game on the rubber making that her third this season and first star since March 3. She recorded one strike out and only walked one batter.
The Knights close out PSAC regular-season play by traveling to Slippery Rock Friday for a doubleheader and then hosting California University of Pennsylvania in a doubleheader Saturday at McConnell Family Stadium. Game times are at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.