The Gannon University softball team wrapped up its third straight Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference West title and clinched the division’s top seed in this week’s conference tournament by sweeping Slippery Rock, 7-6 and 1-0, Sunday at McConnell Family Stadium.
The doubleheader sweep capped a busy week full of games for the Knights, who ended their regular season with a 25-12 record and will begin PSAC Tournament play Wednesday at noon in Quakertown.
Gannon will take on Mansfield, the central division’s no. 3 seed in the opening-round game.
Gannon’s first-game win over Slippery Rock Sunday came in dramatic fashion as the Knights rallied to score six runs in the sixth inning to erase a 6-1 deficit.
Autumn Smith’s two-run single proved to be the difference in the sixth inning for Gannon. Megan Dietrick contributed a two-run home run while Kristina DeMatteis and Maria Taliani each added run-scoring hits.
Madi Beining, who earned the save in the first-game win, limited The Rock to six hits and struck out 11 in pitching a complete-game shutout in the nightcap.
Gannon’s only run came in the bottom of the sixth inning on doubles by Kristina DeMatteis and Taliani.
On April 22, Gannon was able to sweep California University of Pennsylvania, winning 4-3 and 4-0.
After five scoreless innings for Gannon in the first game, the Knights were down 3-0.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Kristina DeMatteis hit her third home run of the year.
Sarah Ingerick started off a hot seventh inning with an RBI single that scored Dietrick.
Three batters later, the bases were loaded for Taliani, who hit a walk-off two-run double.
Kellyn Perich started off the day with three strikeouts, and Beining earned the win with four strikeouts and only two hits allowed.
Gannon dominated the second game. Kaity Stocker started the scoring with a three-run homer in the third inning.
Ingerick then scored Taylor Wilp in the fifth with an RBI double.
Beining notched her 11th win of the year and pitched her 15th complete game.
The Knights were able to extend their win streak to seven games after sweeping Seton Hill on April 24, 3-1 and 7-0.
Rachel Tanilli’s RBI double in the fourth accounted for Gannon’s only run until the eighth inning when Ingerick drove in the game-winning run with an RBI double.
Stocker added an insurance run with an RBI single.
Kennedy DeMatteis fanned a season-high nine batters in the 3-1 battle.
Tanilli smacked a two-run homer in the sixth inning of the nightcap and Kristina DeMatteis added a three-run homer in the seventh to close the scoring.
The Knights clinched their ninth consecutive PSAC Tournament berth in their split against Edinboro on Saturday. They won the tournament for the first time last year.
Gannon dropped the first game, 5-2, but won the second, 7-2. Stocker drove in the only runs for Gannon in the first game with a two-run blast.
In the second game, Taliani had an RBI single in the third, while Dietrick had an RBI double in the sixth.
Ingerick capped the four-run sixth inning with a three-run homer, giving her a 17-game hitting streak.