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Broncos' Five-Run Rally in Nightcap Falls Short in Sweep to PSU Hazleton

Yesileidy Paulino attempting to run out an infield single.

HAZLETON, Pa. (April 17, 2019) – Following a 9-1 five-inning defeat to in game one of their doubleheader Wednesday at Penn State Hazleton, the SUNY Delhi softball team rallied from a 5-0 deficit to tie the nightcap up at five. Despite several close chances, the Broncos could not get ahead, and fell victim to a walk-off double to fall short, 6-5.

Head coach Meagan Hillard's team wraps up a busy two days, including splitting a series at SUNY Poly on Tuesday, to stand at 10-10 on the season. The Broncos are slated for two straight home dates, battling Penn State Scranton on Saturday, beginning at 12:00 p.m., then Cazenovia on Tuesday, starting at 3:00 p.m.


The Broncos took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second when a Molly Greene groundout brought home Haylee Lefebvre. The defense stepped in to preserve the lead in the bottom half, ending the inning when left fielder Jaylynn Sheppard threw out potential tying run Cassandra Passamonte at home plate. But things quickly changed in the bottom of the fourth, as Hazleton put up six runs in the frame off four hits and two errors to lead, 6-1. The Lions then reeled off three runs off three hits and a pair of errors for the five-inning win.

Lefebvre gave up five earned runs on 11 hits in 4.1 innings of work, and batted 2-for-2 with one double as the lone Bronco to produce a multi-hit game. Hazleton pitcher Madison Clark held Delhi to just four hits, while throwing five strikeouts. Sheppard and Mackenzie Sparacino each accounted for one of Delhi's remaining hits.


The Lions remained in the same gear as they did to close out game one, putting up three in the first and two in the second for a 5-0 lead. The Broncos used a two-out rally to get two back in the third, thanks to a Mackenzie Sparacino triple to bring home Natasha Picozzi, followed by Yesileidy Paulino doubling to send in Sparacino. Pitcher Molly Greene held Hazleton scoreless through the next two innings, setting the stage for Delhi to tie the game up in the fifth. With runners on first and second with one out, Paulino singled to right field to bring in Picozzi to cut the lead to 5-3. Keesler stepped in two batters later to deliver a game-tying, two-RBI single.

Though Delhi had more scoring opportunities, they were unable to take the lead, leaving one runner in scoring position in each of the final three innings. Hazleton ended any hopes of Delhi rallying in extra innings, as Samantha Varela, who had runners on first and second with one out, hit a walk-off double to give the Lions a sweep.

Greene hurled 6.1 innings, giving up six earned runs on 13 hits with three strikeouts and five walks. Keesler batted 3-for-4 with one double and two RBIs, while Paulino went 2-for-4 with one double and  two RBIs. Sparacino batted 1-for-3 with a triple and one RBI, as Picozzi was 2-for-4 at the plate.