CRESSON, PA.- Playing in their first games in nearly two weeks, the Juniata softball team returned to the field on Thursday afternoon as the Eagles played a doubleheader against Mount Aloysius. Both games were close decisions but Juniata fell 3-2 in Game 1 and 4-2 in Game 2.
In the first game, the Mounties scored on a passed ball in the first inning to take a 1-0 lead. The Eagles responded in the top of the second on Alicia Regnault's (Bridgewater, NJ/Bridgewater-Raritan) RBI single to tie the game at 1-1.
Mount Aloysius regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth on a Kateryna Bittner RBI double. Juniata knotted the game up in the sixth inning on Regnault's RBI single.
Starting pitcher Rachael Bernier (Bellefonte, Pa./Bellefonte) lasted four innings and scattered six hits while giving up two earned runs. She walked three Mounties and struck out three.
In the Mounties' seventh, relief pitcher Chrisi Lerchen (Annville, Pa./Anville-Cleona) got two outs and looked to extend the game into extra innings. With a runner on first base, a passed ball moved that run into scoring position and a walk put runners at first and second. A single by Karly Klein loaded the bases up and the winning run followed on a walk to Hannah Simpson.
Lerchen pitched 2.2 innings in relief of Bernier. She only surrendered two hits, one run, and one walk while striking out two.
Regnault finished 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Jordan Wahrenberger (Shamong, NJ/Seneca) was 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Bernier also had a hit at the plate, a leadoff double in the fourth inning.
In the second game, it was 1-1 after the top of the third inning. Mount Aloysius went ahead 2-1 in the bottom half of the inning. The Mounties took the lead for good in the fourth on an Alexandria Teeter two-run triple in the fourth.
The Eagles closed to within two runs in the top of the fifth on a Sarah Sotelo (Fairfax, Va./Paul VI Catholic HS) RBI single. Juniata nearly mounted a comeback in the seventh inning as it loaded the bases with two outs but Wahrenberger popped out to third base to end the game.
Anna Baran (Tyrone, Pa./Tyrone) went into the fourth inning and gave up eight hits and four unearned runs. She struck out two batters. Sotelo pitched 2.2 innings of relief and surrendered just two hits.
Sotelo was 2-for2 at the plate with a run batted in. Brooke Ridenour (Thurmont, Md./Catoctin) finished 2-for-3 and scored both Juniata runs.
The Eagles will travel to Latrobe to play St. Vincent on Saturday. Game 1 of the doubleheader begins at 1:00 p.m. with the second game following at 3:00 p.m.