Beaver Wins Extra Inning Thriller

Keasha Barz with the walk off
Keasha Barz with the walk off

Akron, Ohio -- Beaver wins an extra inning thriller under the lights in their second game of the USCAA Softball National Tournament.

After suffering an early loss in the tournament this morning, Beaver looked to bounce back in tonight's game and did just that.  Unlike their first game, the Lady Lions came out swinging, earning at least one hit in every inning of the game.

Despite putting runners on in each of the first three innings, Beaver wasn't able to translate that into scoring, but it clearly was setting the tone.  After giving up a pair of runs in the top of the fourth inning, the Lady Lions answered in the bottom of the fifth as Lacey Weible (Hookstown, PA / South Side) hit a one out single.  She was followed by Vanessa Jackson (Snohomish, WA / Snohomish) who also singled, advancing Lacey to third.  With runners on the corners, Jenna Petrucci (New Castle, PA / Shenango) hit into an out down the first base line, but the placement of the ball allowed both runners to advance, earning Petrucci the RBI and putting Beaver on the board.  

With the score staying at 2-1 in favor of the Owls of UMPI going into the bottom of the seventh inning, Beaver knew it was down to the wire.  Again, it was Weible and Jackson getting things started hitting back to back doubles, scoring Weible to tie the game at 2-2.  As the tension in the game mounted, Petrucci drew the walk to advance Jackson to second and into scoring position to win the game.  After a foul out by Brenna Cepull (Monaca, PA/Central Valley), catcher, Dina Cable (Mannington, NJ / Salem County Vo Tech) looked to hit the walk off game winner, but a questionable call by the umpires eventaully resulted into her hitting into a double play, sending the game into extra innings.

Throwing arguably one of her best games of the season, Jackson managed to retire the side on an intense called third strike on the final batter of the inning, setting the stage for Beaver to take the victory.

With the international tie breaker rule in effect, placing a runner on second base, Cable was sent to second as the last out of the previous inning.  Brittany Zahn (New Brighton, PA / New Brighton) led off the inning with a sacrifice bunt to advance Cable to third.  Keasha Barz (Wintersville, OH / Stuebenville) then stepped to the plate and hit what seemed to be a routine ground ball to the short stop, but an error was made, allowing Keasha to reach safely and allowing Cable to score the winning run.

Leading the way in tonight's game was Jackson who went 3 for 4 from the plate with one double and threw an outstanding game from the mound, throwing the complete game while striking out 10 of her 35 batters faced.

The win keeps Beaver alive in the tournament as they have a quick turn around, playing Judson College at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow.