Gannon sweeps Seton Hill

The Gannon University softball team emerged from a grueling weekend in Salem, Va., and a Tuesday double-header at Seton Hill University with just one loss in all three days of action.

Led by junior pitchers, Erica Bartholow and Megan Dragon, the team was able to end the weekend in Salem with a 4-1 record.

Coach Tom Jakubowski said that pitching was the strongest part of the Knights’ game, with Bartholow ending the weekend in Salem at 2-1 and Dragon finishing at 2-0.

“Both Erica and Megan threw strikes, kept the ball down in the strike zone and were in command most of the time,” he said. “We performed well against very good competition.”

Dragon, who pitched for 12 innings over the weekend and recorded an ERA of .58, was named Monday as the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Week. Though this is the first time she has earned this recognition this season, it is the fifth time of her career.

According to Dragon, the key to her recent success is hard work and having a talented team behind her.

“It’s a great honor,” she said. “I was excited when I found out.”

She gave up just one earned run and two walks while tacking on 13 strike-outs. Bartholow earned the same award two weeks earlier.

On the offensive side of play, senior outfielder Jaleesa Sledge led the Knights with a 1.000 slugging percentage and .538 on-base percentage after the weekend’s five contests.

The Knights went on to sweep the double-header at Seton Hill, handily defeating the Griffins 6-3 in the first of the two games and winning the second in an extra-inning thriller, thanks to the bat of freshman Megan Cunha. Cunha hit the home run in the eighth inning of play.

Dragon said she attributes the win to the Knights’ tenacity.

“We brought our intensity up,” she said. “We really pulled together as a team on offense and defense.”

Jakubowski said that the team will need to stay focused in order to stay sharp against strong competition coming up this weekend.

“This week is a very difficult one for us,” he said. “Cal and IUP are two of the better teams in the entire Atlantic region.”

One thing Jakubowski said he thinks the team needs to work on in order to contend with these teams is its ability to put points on the board.

“We do need to improve the consistency of our offense,” he said.

Gannon returns to action Friday and Saturday with matchups against California and Indiana universities of Pennsylvania. The 1 p.m. Saturday contest will be played at Gannon University Field. The Knights currently boast an overall record of 13-6 heading into the weekend.

 

CHRISTINE PEFFER

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