After finishing the regular season tied for the top spot in the PSUAC West with a 15-5 record, Penn State Fayette and Penn State Beaver matched up again in a tie-breaker game in DuBois. Fayette would come out on top, winning their first ever PSUAC West division title and secured a first-round playoff bye.
The two teams traded zeros throughout the first 4 innings of the game, combining for only 4 hits in that time. Beaver would score the first run in the 5th, but Fayette would limit the damage to only 1, despite Beaver having the bases loaded with no outs. A key double play turned by Hannah Kline kept any more runs from scoring.
Fayette would take the lead in what became a very exciting 6th inning. It started when Kline and Aubree Yates both singled.
Kelsey Holp, the cleanup hitter, then laid down a picture-perfect bunt, and an error by Beaver 3rd baseman Brenna Cepull allowed Kline to come home. "Going up to the plate and getting the bunt sign was definitely something different for me and also knowing that they would never expect it from me made me want to lay the bunt down even more", Holp said about the bunt. "I'm just happy I was able to show up for my team and I couldn't be any prouder of them."
Then with Holp on third, Chanel Porter stepped to the plate. "I thought I was going to get the bunt sign, but when I didn't I knew I had to get the ball in the outfield. I waited for my pitch and made sure it was something I could drive." Porter did just that, hitting a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Holp, the go-ahead run.
Pitcher Tiffany Markovitch then shut down Beaver in the bottom half of the inning to secure the win.
Vanessa Jackson took the loss for Beaver.
After 3 years of battling against Beaver, team captain Hannah Kline was very proud of her team's performance. "We played as a team and got the job done together. We knew we wanted to win so we worked together and get some hits and got the job done. I've never wanted it so bad and I'm glad the team helped me get the job done."
This win secures the best ever finish for Fayette softball, capturing 1st place in the PSUAC West division. "We have worked so hard to get here and I couldn't be any prouder," says 3rd baseman Casey Hite. "I am truly blessed to be part of such a hardworking, determined team and coaching staff. We aren't finished here though, we are ready to keep going."
Fayette will now travel to Penn State University Park on May 6th for the PSUAC Championship tournament.