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The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


Golden Knights Softball is Golden

Bryce Dolak
Abbey Girman celebrates her walk-off hit against California (PA) on April 20, 2024


April 26, 2024/Midnight

Erie Pa., — The Gannon Golden Knights softball team has been on a very impressive winning streak as of late, and that carried into this past weekend.

The Golden Knights had to deal with Erie, PA weather early in the season, so that pushed back most of their games into the latter half of their season. With six games in three days, the Golden Knights proved to the PSAC why they should earn a spot in the PSAC Playoffs starting next week. The Knights had come off a very dominant showing on Tuesday, April 16th as they would travel down to Clarion to play the Golden Eagles.

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The Knights offense would turn in for two blowout victories scoring twenty-four runs on twenty-eight hits in five innings of play. That would only start their week off. The Knights would do battle again with the Golden Eagles on Thursday, April 18th, but this time, the Knights had the home-field advantage.

Game one would feature the Knights coming away with a 2-1 victory. Game two was one for the ages as the Golden Knights were down seven to five entering the sixth inning of play. Fueled again by the Knights’s offense they would escape with an eleven-to-eight victory in game two. That game kicked off what would be six games in three days.

On day two the Golden Knights would welcome in rival Seton Hill for two games on Friday, April 19th. This would be the premiere match-up as these games would feature the No. 1 seeded Seton Hill Griffins and the number two seeded Gannon Golden Knights. Game one would live up to the hype.

The Golden Knights found themselves down 1-0 after a half-inning of play. That would not last long however as Jules Ryan would knot the game up at one after one inning of play. The third inning would roll around and that saw the Golden Knights take a 3-1 lead that lasted all the way up to the fifth inning.

The Griffins would rally back with one of their own making the score 3-2, and that would be the final score for game one. Game two did not go the Knights’s way however, as it saw the Griffins score nine runs in a 9-0 loss for the Knights. The Knights would pick up the split in the doubleheader.

Games number five and six for the Golden Knights would be two big and emotional wins as they would celebrate Senior Day against the No. 3 seeded California (PA) Vulcans. Game one showed a lot of emotions.

The Knights were trailing 2-1 going in the bottom of the seventh, and that’s when freshman Emma Smerick stepped up to the plate. She would hit a game-tying home run. The Knights’s defense would shut the Vulcans down in the top of the eighth, and that meant the Golden Knights would have an opportunity to win the game in the bottom of the eighth and that is exactly what they did. Natalia Mallozzi would draw a walk in her at-bat, so that meant there was a runner on. Then, sophomore Abbey Girman steps up to the plate. Girman would send a deep drive out to left field, and scoring from first, and winning the game was Mallozzi. The Knights offense would cruise to a nice 9-1 five-inning victory in game two.

Here is what Natalia Mallozzi had to say about Senior Day, “It’s really awesome, especially because I live so far apart from my family and friends.”

This is what she had to say about the two victories on Senior Day. “Caliegh Rister (pitcher for California) is good at mixing up her speed, so I thought that I was going to get a first-pitch change-up, and when I didn’t get that first pitch change-up, my plan completely changed. I was just looking to get a good pitch so that I could get on base, and I knew that I had amazing hitters behind me that would knock me in, so I was just waiting for a good pitch to drive.”

The Knights would take five victories out of a possible six games over the weekend, and that would almost cement their spot into the PSAC Playoffs.

Two of the many reasons the Knights are where they are are because of Junior pitcher Maggie Lenda and Redshirt-Junior Mallozzi. Lenda has been on an incredible run in the circle that has seen her win her past eleven games. Lenda has a 2.20 earned runs average accompanied by a 13-2 record in the circle.

Here is what Lenda said about her dominant performance in the circle as of late. “Every time that I go into a game, I tell myself I’ve done it before, and I can do it again. That also comes with not putting too much pressure on myself or freaking out about it. I trust my teammates to scores runs, and I trust myself to get out of the innings.”

Mallozzi on the other hand, has been fueling the Knights offense as she has a league-leading .447 average in thirty-one games. She also has thirty-eight hits, accompanied by twenty-five runs and twenty-five runs batted in.

The Knights, however, are not done yet as they have another busy week ahead of them. They are set to play ten more games in seven days. It kicks off later today as the Knights will travel down to Indiana, PA to take on the Crimson Hawks. It then follows Slippery Rock at home on the 23rd, at Edinboro on the 25th, at Mercyhurst on the 27th, and they will finish off in Johnstown, PA as they take on the UPJ Mountain Cats.

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