ERIE, Pa. – The Clarion softball team snapped a long losing streak with an inspired effort in the second half of a doubleheader on Thursday, with the Golden Eagles defeating Gannon 4-1 in the nightcap after falling 10-0 in the first game. Clarion (1-11) gave head coach Lis Fee the first win of her tenure as head coach.
Megan Anderson threw a gem in the late game, tossing seven innings of one-run ball against the Golden Knights. The freshman pitcher struck out four and tossed a complete game on just 98 pitches. It was coupled with clutch hitting by the Golden Eagle offense, who scored all the runs they would need in the top of the third inning to lock up the win. Junior Jessica Cartia went 2-of-4 with a double and a home run, driving in a pair of runs to pace the offense. Natalie Else and Nicole Collins also drove in runs in the winning effort.
Neither team scored through the first two full innings, but Carissa Giordano got things going in the third with a leadoff walk and an advance to second on a wild pitch. After Haley Pszyk drew a walk on a full count to put two runners on, Cartia lashed a double to right center to bring Giordano across the plate. Else followed with a good piece of hitting, pushing the ball to the right side of the infield to score Pszyk to make it 2-0, and Collins lifted a one-out pitch to right field for a sacrifice fly for the third run of the inning.
Anderson made the lead stand up, stranding two runners in the bottom of a scoreless third. She gave up a solo home run in the fourth to cut Clarion’s lead to 3-1, but retired the side 1-2-3 in the fifth to regain the momentum. Cartia got that run back in the top of the seventh, ripping a home run down the left field line to make it 4-1. Anderson threw a scoreless seventh to close out the win.
The first game was lopsided in favor of the Golden Knights, who hit four home runs in the first three innings to build a 10-0 lead over Clarion. The Golden Eagles’ best chance to score came in the top of the fourth after Cartia and Rebecca Kelley hit back-to-back singles to lead off the inning. They advanced no further, though, as Gannon retired the next three Clarion batters in order. The 10-run deficit persisted into the fifth inning to grant the Golden Knights the win.