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Delhi Clashes with Penn State Brandywine to Open Season

Sierra Keesler at bat during Delhi's game with Penn State Brandywine.

ASTON, Pa. (March 29, 2019) – The 2019 chapter of SUNY Delhi softball began Friday with a road twin bill at Penn State Brandywine. The Broncos led, 5-1, in the opener through four innings, but 14 Lions runs over the fifth and sixth accounted for a 15-5 defeat. Trailing, 4-0, entering the fifth of the night cap, Delhi rallied over the fifth and sixth to tie the game at 4-4. After Brandywine regained control with three runs in the bottom of the sixth, Delhi rallied with two outs in the seventh, coming up just short with the tying run at the plate in a 7-5 defeat. Head coach Meagan Hillard's team travels Saturday to New York City for a doubleheader with John Jay at Fordham University, starting at 12:00 noon.

Senior Sierra Keesler had a home run in each game, blasting a three-run shot in the opening contest and a solo jack in the nightcap. She went 4-for-7 on the afternoon, totaling two homers, a double, and five RBIs. Pitcher Molly Greene pitched in both games, going one-plus innings of relief in the first and a complete six frames in the latter, posting a 6.00 ERA.


The Broncos built a 4-0 lead by the bottom of the third, thanks in part to a Dakota Baker RBI single in the second, followed by a three-run jack for Sierra Keesler in top three. Brandywine got one back in the bottom of the frame on a sacrifice fly, only for Shelby Nolan to provide an RBI single to get Delhi back up by four at 5-1. The Broncos also utilized stellar defense and solid pitching from Haylee Lefebvre in order to give up one run through four. The Lions bats got rolling in the fifth and sixth, however, posting ten runs in the fifth and four more in the sixth. In addition, the Broncos were guilty of three of their six errors in this two-inning span, with seven of Brandywine's run coming unearned. Ahead by seven, 12-5, with one out in the sixth, a three-run shot by Lion Alexandra Szpindor enforced the mercy.

Lefebvre allowed seven earned runs on nine hits through 4.1 innings, posting two strikeouts. Keesler went 2-for-3 with one homer and three RBIs, while Dakota Baker was 2-for-3 with one RBI. 


Brandywine carried its momentum early on in the second game with back-to-back two-run innings to lead, 4-0, after two. Starter Molly Greene and the Delhi defense then settled in to blank the Lions the next two frames, opening the door for a Broncos rally in the fifth and sixth. Third-baseman Natasha Picozzi sent a two-out RBI single through the left side to get Delhi to within three in top five. The heart of Delhi's lineup tied the game up in the sixth. Sierra Keesler got the scoring started with a solo homer to left center, followed by a two-run double by Dakota Baker to square everything up at 4-4. The Lions answered in the bottom half, though, with three runs of their own. Morgan Meoli got Brandywine back ahead with an RBI single down the left line, after which Alexandra Szpindor singled to right field, where a fielding error prompted two runs to come across for a 7-4 lead. Down to their last out, the Broncos rallied again. Jaylynn Sheppard beat out a throw from the shortstop for an infield single, after which Keesler brought her around home with an RBI double. Samantha Mendelsohn came to the plate as the tying run, where her drive to left-center field was caught out of the air over the shoulder by left-fielder Fiona Warren.

Keesler was 2-for-4 with a home run, double and two RBIs. Baker was 1-for-2 with a double and a pair of RBIs, while Yesileidy Paulino was 1-for-3 with one double. Picozzi batted 1-for-3 with an RBI. Greene went all six innings, giving up just six earned runs on 12 hits with one strikeout.