BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The University of Scranton claimed the second seed in the upcoming Landmark Conference playoffs by splitting a doubleheader at Moravian on Saturday. The Greyhounds (29-5, 11-1 Landmark), currently ranked sixth in the nation, clinched the top seed and home field advantage in next weekend's championship tournament by winning the opening game, 3-1, before the Royals (30-8, 9-3 Landmark) clinched the second seed with a 3-1 victory of their own in the nightcap.
Scranton will take on third-seeded Susquehanna at 1:00 p.m. on Friday in the first round of the double-elimination tournament at Moravian. The Royals and River Hawks both went 9-3 in Landmark play and split a doubleheader during the regular season, but Scranton's win over top-seeded Moravian gave the tiebreaker for second place to the Royals.
In Saturday's opener, Moravian scored a pair of first inning runs and added a late insurance run to defeat Scranton 3-1, locking up the top seed in the postseason tournament.
The Greyhounds got a leadoff home run in the bottom of the first and an RBI double made it a 2-0 game in favor of the hosts
Morgan Rentzheimer (Allentown, Pa./Parkland) cut the Royals' deficit in half with a solo home run to lead off the fifth inning.
The following inning, Scranton loaded the bases with nobody out, but were unable to bring home the tying run and Moravian restored its two-run edge in the home sixth on an RBI double.
The visitors brought the tying run to the plate with one out in the top of the seventh inning, but the Greyhounds were again able to work out of potential danger to secure the victory.
Rentzheimer broke Scranton's all-time record for innings pitched after tossing a complete game in which she allowed three runs on seven hits while striking out four batters. The senior has now tossed 457.2 innings for the Royals to surpass Sarah Rhodes, who pitched 456.0 innings from 2001-2004.
Molly Hampsey (Tunkhannock, Pa./Tunkhannock) led Scranton with a pair of hits in the game one setback.
In Saturday's nightcap, Jennifer Sweeney (Dumont, N.J./Dumont) took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and made three early runs stand as Scranton won 3-1.
Sweeney improve to 15-3 on the season to tie Isabel Mendez for the program record for pitching victories in a season which Mendez established in 2008. The freshman would surrender just three seventh-inning singles in the victory while picking up one strikeout.
The Royals got on the board in the top of the first as Rentzheimer singled to right field to bring home Hampsey.
Scranton doubled its lead in the second inning with Maggie Donnelly (New Hyde Park, N.Y./Our Lady of Mercy Academy) coming home on an infield single from Mackenzie Duffy (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./Lackawanna Trail) before opening up a 3-0 advantage in the third inning as Sweeney scored on an RBI groundout from Donnelly.
Moravian broke up Sweeney's no-hit bid with back-to-back singles to start the seventh inning and added a third single to load the bases with one out. The Greyhounds got on the board with an RBI groundout, but Sweeney left the potential tying runs stranded in scoring position by inducing a game-ending groundout.
Rentzheimer led Scranton with a pair of hits in the game two victory.
Scranton will close out the regular season on Sunday with a non-conference twinbill against DeSales at Magis Field. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. in Scranton.