PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia University softball team notched its first sweep of the 2017 season, taking two Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) games from Concordia (N.Y.), 7-4 and 2-1 in eight innings, Saturday afternoon.
Game one belonged to Stephanie Pepper (Toms River, N.J./Central Regional) as she went 3-for-4 at the plate, including a pair of home runs, knocked in three runs, and scored twice. In the pitching circle, Pepper fanned nine Clippers over seven innings and gave up just five hits. All four runs scored off of Pepper were unearned.
Jovanna Alfonsi (Hatfield, Pa./North Penn) snapped a two-all tie with a one-out single in the sixth inning to score Megan Letos (Bristow, Va./Stonewall Jackson), who came in to pinch run for Pepper after she singled to start the frame. With Alfonsi on second base, Gabrielle Brown lined a two-out single into center field, allowing Alfonsi to come home and increase the lead to two.
Naomi Stas (Tuckerton, N.J./Pinelands Regional) led off the seventh inning with a double and came around to score on a Monica Levins (Norristown, Pa./Norristown Area) double two batters later to make it a 5-2 game. Pepper made the score 7-2 as she followed the Levins double with a two-run blast to left field. It is her third home run of the season.
Concordia got two runs in the last of the seventh. The first run scored on a throwing error and a Shayla Peterson drove in the second run with a sacrifice fly.
Philadelphia took a 2-0 lead with single runs in the second and fourth innings. Courtney Wensel (Bechtelsville, Pa./Berks Catholic) opened the scoring with a RBI fielder's choice and Pepper added to the lead with a solo shot to start the fourth.
Pepper knocked in the winning run in the nightcap with a RBI groundout to first base. Madison Heno (Houston, Texas/St. Agnes Academy) started the inning on second base via the international tiebreaker. Breck Urban (Mullica Hill, N.J./Paul VI) sacrificed Heno to third with a bunt back to the pitcher, setting up Pepper for the game-winning RBI.
Stas masterfully handled the Concordia half of the eighth, getting a double play and a ground out to end the game. She allowed just two hits and struck out three over the eight innings to get her fourth win of the season.
Philadelphia took a 1-0 lead in the fifth on an error that allowed Katelyn Stys to score from third. Concordia sent the game to extra innings thanks to an Allison Beltz ground out in the seventh.
The Rams got eight hits off of Clipper pitcher Sarah Ross. Emily Williams (Coatesville, Pa./Downingtown West) and Kayla Henry-Caltabellota (Holbrook, N.Y./Sachem East) each had two hits.
Philadelphia continues its busy stretch with a trip to West Chester for a non-conference doubleheader on Sunday, March 26 at noon.