READING – Sophomore Holly Lansberry of Curwensville was one of the standouts as Lycoming (8-2) opened conference play 2-0 for the first time since 2000 by defeating host Albright 11-1 and 9-7 Saturday.
Lansberry (5-0) fashioned her fifth complete game of the season in the Lady Warriors’ first opening win since joining the Commonwealth Conference in 2007 after moving from the Freedom Conference.
She scattered six hits, struck out four and walked four, losing a shutout in the seventh inning.
In addition, she came through with a perfect game as the leadoff batter, lacing three hits and walking twice. Her two-run triple that made it 7-0 in the third frame was the first of the year for the Lady Warriors. She scored twice.
Lansberry also started the second game but was relieved after surrendering six hits and four earned runs in three innings. She struck out three and walked one.
However, she didn’t allow the rough start to affect her concentration at the plate. She posted another three-hit performance, including two singles in a seven-run rally that wiped out Albright’s 5-2 lead in the fifth inning.
Lansberry’s average soared to .444, second on the team and 14th in the conference. She has 12 hits, a .500 on-base average, seven runs batted in and nine runs scored.
In the circle, Lansberry has chalked up 34 strikeouts to go with a 1.94 earned run average for 36 innings.
She is tied for third in wins and tied for fifth in strikeouts in the conference.
* * * * * * * * * *
STEUBENVILLE, Ohio – Freshman reliever Chad Zurat of Clearfield picked up his first win in the opener while Kyle Kline and Mike Moyer of Clearfield contributed to the nightcap victory as Penn State Behrend swept homestanding Franciscan 4-3 and 21-3 in Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference action at Vaccaro Field Saturday.
Zurat entered the first game in the seventh inning with the score tied 2-2, a runner at third and two outs.
He retired the next batter on a groundout and became the pitcher of record when the Lions scored two runs in the top of the eighth.
Zurat was lifted after the leadoff batter reached base on an error. Though the runner came around on a single and a forceout before Jay Condit locked up the save, Zurat’s earned run average remained at 0.00 for 4.1 innings.
The right-hander has surrendered only one hit while striking out six in three appearances. He has not issued a walk.
Kline, a senior first baseman, made the most of his fifth start of the season after sitting out four games. He singled and doubled, walked twice, drove in a run and scored three times.
He has a .214 average with two RBIs in six games.
Moyer worked two scoreless innings in relief, allowing one hit and striking out three.
The sophomore right-hander lowered his ERA to 1.00, which is tops in the AMCC through the weekend for pitchers with a minimum of one inning per game. He’s given up the fewest hits (10) and runs (2) and is tied for fifth in fewest walks allowed (3).
Opponents are hitting only .177 against Moyer, who won his only two starts.
Penn State Behrend is 9-3 with a seven-game winning streak.
* * * * *
SLIPPERY ROCK – Senior shortstop Adam Jury of Bigler registered a hit in each of Slippery Rock’s four non-conference weekend victories over West Liberty (W.Va.) at Jack Critchfield Park, including the deciding blow in a milestone win for coach Jeff Messer Sunday.
The Clearfield Area High School graduate snapped a 1-1 tie with a two-run double in the sixth inning, giving Messer his 800th win.
The Rock then ran its winning streak to seven with a 5-1 victory for a 14-8 record.
On Saturday, Jury singled and scored in a 7-0 shutout and singled twice and added an RBI-groundout in a 12-1 rout.
He lifted his average to .271 and padded his RBI total to 16, second best on the team. He has one home run in addition to the double among his 23 hits.
At 801-455-4, Messer is the all-time leader in career wins for Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference head coaches and is just three away from moving into 25th place on the NCAA Division II all-time list.
The only Pennsylvania coach who had more wins was former Temple University mentor James Wilson with 1034 in 46 seasons.
* * * * *
PITTSBURGH – Sophomore left-hander Ben McGary of Curwensville didn’t pitch in either of Pitt-Bradford’s 6-4 and 15-6 losses to host LaRoche at John Arnold Sr. Memorial Field Saturday, but he still leads the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference in saves with three.
He did start in center field for the Panthers, who entered their first conference doubleheader ranked in the NCAA Division III top 10 in batting average (.358) and runs per game (9.5) but were quieted by a LaRoche staff that’s No. 1 in the AMCC in earned run average (3.31).
McGary walked and stole his fifth base of the season in the opener but was hitless in three at-bats in the twinbill. His average dipped to .194 for 13 starts in the outfield. He has seven hits, including one triple, and eight runs batted in.
Freshman pitcher-outfielder Sam Gardner of Curwensville pinch-hit for the designated hitter in the nightcap and walked in his second at-bat.
He has appeared in three games, two in relief with a 13.50 ERA for four innings. He has given up seven hits and six earned runs.
McGary leads Pitt-Bradford (10-7) in ERA at 2.00 for five trips to the mound. In nine innings, he’s surrendered only five hits and two runs, both earned, while striking out eight and walking two.
* * * * * * * * * *
MEN’S INDOOR TRACK & FIELD
ERIE – Senior Michael Johnson of Clearfield received the Penn State Behrend team’s Leadership and Scholarship Award, one of four special honors given out at the conclusion of the winter season.
The 6-3 high jumper and 4×400 relay team runner has a grade point average of 3.13 and is known for his guidance while pushing teammates to work harder.
* * * * * * * * * *
MEN’S OUTDOOR TRACK & FIELD
WHEELING, W.Va. – Senior thrower John Bowman and senior jumper-sprinter Michael Johnson of Clearfield placed in three events apiece for Penn State Behrend in the annual season-opening Bill Horne Invitational that attracted more than 1,000 athletes from 28 universities and colleges as well as open competitors to the Wheeling Jesuit Outdoor Athletic Complex Friday and Saturday.
Bowman was eighth in the javelin with a throw of 44.94 meters (147 feet, 5¼ inches), 16th in the hammer throw with a heave of 35.26 meters (118-8¼) and 29th in the discus with a throw of 32.67 meters (107-2¼). Total entries in those events were 39, 33 and 49, respectively.
Johnson tied for ninth in the high jump by clearing 1.75 meters (5-9) and finished 18th in the 400-meter run with a time of 59.92 seconds. He also ran the third leg for the Lions ‘B’ 4×400 relay foursome that placed 12th in 3:37.58.
* * * * * * * * * *
WOMEN’S WATER POLO
ERIE – Senior Allison White of Clearfield scored her ninth goal of the season in Grove City’s 8-7 non-conference loss to host Gannon on March 22.
The Wolverines were unable to build on a 4-3 halftime lead in falling to 7-9.
They are 5-0 and tied for first place with Carthage (Ill.) in the Collegiate Water Polo Association Division III Conference.
White also has three assists and two steals this season.