JESSUP, Pa. -- The University of Scranton softball team wasted little time in a pair of games against Penn State Hazleton on Thursday, as the Royals were victorious in five innings in both contests by scores of 9-1 and 11-3 at the Jessup Youth Sports Complex.
With the victories, the Royals improved to 15-12 overall, while Penn State Hazleton fell to 14-14 with the pair of losses.
In game one, Scranton jumped out to a 6-1 lead entering the bottom of the fifth inning.
Needing three runs to end the game, the Royals did just that, as senior Marisa Ciriello (Hicksville, N.Y./Hicksville) had an RBI single with one out, then with two away, senior Shannon Stricker (Morrisville, Pa./Conwell-Egan) ended the contest with a two-RBI single that scored Ciriello and freshman Megan Zinn (Bridgewater, N.J./Bridgewater-Raritan) to clinch the victory for Scranton.
Overall in the first game of the afternoon, Stricker was perfect, going 4-for-4 with a triple, two-RBI and two runs scored. Ciriello was 2-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored, while fellow senior Jacqueline DeSarro (Bethlehem, Pa./Bethlehem Catholic) was 2-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored.
In the pitching circle, junior Morgan Rentzheimer (Laurys Station, Pa./Parkland) moved to 10-5 overall, allowing a single run in the second inning. She also allowed just four hits, walked only one, and struck out nine in the victory.
In game two, Scranton scored early and often, taking an 11-3 lead in the bottom of the third inning after pulling away with a five-run third inning that extended a 6-3 lead out to eight runs.
Up by eight, freshman Caitlin Long (Ho Ho Kus, N.J./Northern Highlands Regional) came on for senior starter Emily Simon (Freehold, N.J./Red Bank Catholic) in the fourth inning and shut the door on Penn State Hazleton, tossing two innings of shutout softball (allowing one hit) to clinch another five inning win for Scranton and the non-conference doubleheader sweep in the process.
Overall in game two, Stricker had another big game, going 2-for-3 with a double and three RBI. Zinn was also 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI and two runs scored, while both Ciriello and senior Jenna Snyder (Thornwood, N.Y./Westlake) also went 2-for-3 in the win. Snyder had a double, an RBI and scored a run in the win, as well.
In the circle, Simon earned the win, moving to 3-4 overall on the year with the victory.
The University of Scranton softball team returns to action on Saturday, traveling to Drew for a Landmark Conference doubleheader. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.