Late surge lifts Golden Tigers past MU

MOUNT UNION – For five the Mount Union softball team seemed to be cruising through the Hollidaysburg lineup.

Mount Union hurler Marissa Aurand had a two-hit shutout going as her team moved into the top of the sixth.

One bad inning spoiled the Trojans’ strong defensive effort as the crew from Hollidaysburg battled back, plugging clutch hits and heads-up base running to collect three runs as the Golden Tigers went onto a 3-1 victory Thursday at Mount Union High School.

“They (Hollidaysburg) got a couple key hits. Nothing that was hit hard. We just didn’t get key hits with runners in scoring position,” Mount Union coach Matt Fiscus said. “That was the real difference in the game. I thought we had a good effort. Maybe with a little luck things might of changed but give them credit. They got the hits when they needed it. It wasn’t a bad effort. I am really proud of our girls.

“It was one of those games that could have went either way tonight. Unfortunately, it just didn’t go our way.”

Offensively, both teams ended the contest with seven hits. Leading the way offensively for the Trojans was Kaitlyn Querry, who went 3-for-4 on the afternoon, scoring Mount Union’s only run. Aurand finished her night at the plate going 2-for-2 with an RBI.

Mikayla Focht was the only Hollidaysburg player to finish with multiple hits, going 2-for-3. Sierra Paul led her team’s production, driving in two runs.

Hollidaysburg’s Alyssa Pheasant and Aurand both went the distance on the mound. Pheasant tallied two strikeouts and a walk while Aurand struck out three and walked one.

After stranding a runner at third in the first, Mount Union cashed in for the first run of the game in the third inning.

With two outs, Querry got things in motion when she hustled out her second bunt single of the game. She stole second, setting the stage for Aurand.

Aurand did not disappoint, chipping a Pheasant offering that landed in between the pitcher and second. Querry did not hesitate as she used the soft landing of the hit to her advantage, scoring on the play.

Mount Union had another chance to plate another run in the bottom of the fourth. With one out, Lauren Shugarts poked a single to center. She then moved from first to third as she stole second base and made it to third on an overthrow.

Teammate Chapin Guiliante followed with a walk. She also stole second, putting runners on second and third with two out.

Unfortunately for the Trojans, the runners were left stranded.

In the bottom of the sixth the Tigers clawed their way back and took the lead for the first time in the contest.

Leadoff hitter Pheasant beat out a dribbler to third base. She was followed by Mikayla Focht, who blasted a shot that ricocheted off the Trojans’ third baseman, putting runners on first and second.

Kaylee Beaudoin tied the contest as she lifted a double to left, scoring Pheasant and placing runners on second and third.

Paul brought Beaudoin and Focht in when she poked a single to right, giving them two more runs and a 3-1 advantage.

That would be all Hollidaysburg would need as the Tigers kept Mount Union off the scoreboard in its last two at bats for the victory.

With the loss, Mount Union falls to 11-2 on the season. Mount Union travels to McConnellsburg today.