MILLERSVILLE, Pa. – Millersville softball smashed four home runs in the first inning of game one en route to a 6-1 win in the series opener Friday at Shippensburg. The Raiders bounced back in game two, salvaging a split by an 11-2 final.
Millersville (9-7, 5-7 PSAC East) snapped Shippensburg’s (10-10, 9-9 PSAC East) four-game winning streak in the opener, but Shippensburg’s lineup scored at least eight runs for the sixth time in the last eight games in game two. Millersville’s four-home run first inning missed the NCAA record by one, and the Marauders finished the day with six homers. Rebecca Blatt hit two in game one,
GAME ONE (MILLERSVILLE 6, SHIPPENSBURG 1)
• Millersville entered the game as the nation’s leader in homers per game and kept up the pace. Devan Masciulli hit the third pitch of the game over the left field fence, and Blatt made it back-to-back homers two pitches later. Clean-up hitter Faith Willenbrock swung away on a 3-0 pitch and hit her PSAC-leading 10th homer of the season. After Gabi Turner walked, Alyssa Stover hit a two-run smash to center field for a 5-0 Millersville lead. Blatt tacked on another run for Millersville in the sixth with a solo shot.
• Millersville’s two freshmen combined for seven strong innings of work in the circle. Alex Schaefer (2-2) struck out six and allowed just one run on four hits and a walk. Morgan Crutcher entered in the fifth and tossed three scoreless for her first career save.
• Blatt went 4-for-5 with a double and two homers. Willenbrock went 2-for-2 and also walked twice. Masciulli also finished with two hits.
GAME TWO (SHIPPENSBURG 11, MILLERSVILLE 2)
• Millersville could keep Shippensburg’s high-powered lineup in check only so long. With a 1-0 lead in the third, Shippensburg took advantage of a walk and back-to-back Millersville errors when reigning PSAC East Athlete of the Week Hannah Marsteller hit a three-run home run. A double later in the inning made it a six-run frame for the Raiders. They added four more on five hits in the fourth. Marsteller had another RBI hit in the inning.
• Millersville’s lone offense came from Turner, who hit a two-run home run in the top of the fourth. Millersville had a runner on base in four of five innings. Shippensburg held an 11-5 advantage in hits with four players recording two. Maelynn Leber (4-4) got the win, striking out seven over five innings.
POSTGAME REACTION FROM COACH JEN PROBST
• On the fast start to game one: “Hitting four homers inning one set the tone right away. Their mental toughness, responding to the offensive struggles we were having really showed. (Blatt) was seeing the ball really well and had a great day offensively. I was really proud of the quality at bats we had today.
• On the game one pitching performance: “Alex was tough today. She worked ahead in the count and did a great job on a tough hitting Ship lineup. Morgan came in and gave a different look mixing speeds and getting ground balls. These two rookies are a tough combo and can’t wait to see how they continue to develop.”
• Blatt matched a career-high with four hits in game one. She last had four hits in a game on April 8, 2018 against West Chester. It was also her first two-home run game since April 20, 2018.
• Millersville’s win in the opener snapped Shippensburg’s seven-game winning streak in the series.
• Blatt and Willenbrock are both tied for second in Millersville history with 110 career RBIs. The all-time record is 115.