Weekend College Top 10: IUP tennis punches ticket to NCAAs
Every Monday, the Tribune-Review will highlight 10 top area college performances from the weekend:
1. IUP women’s tennis team repeats as PSAC champion
Senior Luise von Agris prevailed 6-4, 7-6 at second singles to propel the Crimson Hawks past Mercyhurst, 5-0, to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Division II Tournament. It was a rematch of last year’s championship. The Crimson Hawks (19-5) won the three doubles matches by a combined score of 24-11. Mercyhurst dropped to 22-2, with its only other loss also coming to IUP. The NCAA unveils the bracket Tuesday.
2. Pitt baseball, softball surging
The Panthers baseball team made history by taking a series from ACC foe Miami for the first time over the weekend. Pitt won 2-1 on Friday before shutting down the Hurricanes 3-0 in Game 1 of a doubleheader Saturday. Miami avoided a sweep with a 3-0 victory in Game 2. Pitching dominated the weekend for the Panthers (21-16, 10-11), who have won four straight ACC series for the first time since joining the conference. On Friday, Dan Hammer gave up one run and three hits in seven innings, and freshman Ron Washington Jr. went 3 for 4, including a tiebreaking homer in the ninth. In Saturday’s victory, senior Matt Pidich (5-1) allowed four hits and struck out seven in 6 2/3 shutout innings, and junior Cole MacLaren drove in all three runs. The softball team took over sole possession of first place in the Coastal Division after beating Virginia three times, Pitt’s first three-game sweep this season. At 14-6 in the ACC, the Panthers broke the school record for most conference wins since joining the league. (The 2015 team won 11 games). Pitt (26-16-1 overall) topped the Cavaliers by scores of 9-2, 3-2 and 12-1. Junior Olivia Gray (Trinity) finished 5 for 10 in the series with four runs and five RBIs.
3. Cal (Pa.)’s Conte records 600th victory
The Vulcans baseball team swept Gannon, 8-5 and 9-0, on Saturday to help Mike Conte become the first school’s first coach in any men’s sport to reach 600 wins. Conte, in his 22nd year, has a career record of 601-437. He is one of four active PSAC coaches to reach 600. In the opener, senior Garrett Brooks (Greensburg Central Catholic) went 3 for 3 with three RBIs and three runs. In the second game, junior Ben Maudie had a two-run homer, and junior first baseman Eric Fairman (Thomas Jefferson) had three hits. Cal improved to 20-17 overall and 9-11 in the conference.
4. Slippery Rock baseball remains tied for 1st after sweep
The Rock beat IUP four times over the weekend, improving to 16-4 in the PSAC West and keeping pace Mercyhurst. On Sunday, junior Chris Anastas threw a two-hitter in a 2-0 victory. In Game 2, a walk-off single by junior Joe Campagna (Blackhawk) lifted Slippery Rock to a 6-5 triumph in eight innings. Campagna went 3 for 6 with three RBIs in the doubleheader. On Saturday, The Rock won 7-3 and 13-4. Senior Christian Porterfield finished the doubleheader a combined 5 for 8 with two homers, seven RBIs and three runs, and sophomore Tyler Merigliano (Hampton) went 4 for 7 with three RBIs for Slippery Rock (23-11). On Wednesday, senior Tyler Walters hit his 45 career home run in a loss to Bloomsburg, tying the PSAC’s all-time record.
5. Sleith sets home run record for Saint Vincent
Freshman Alona Sleith (Yough) homered twice in Game 2 of a doubleheader sweep of Thiel on Sunday, giving her a single-season school-record 10. She finished 3 for 4 with four RBIs in the Bearcats’ 10-3 victory. In the first game, Sleith (5-2) scattered nine hits as the Bearcats won 6-1. She leads the team with a .479 average and 37 RBIs. Saint Vincent improved to 20-6 overall and 11-3 in the PAC.
6. Pitt freshman ties 39-year-old record
Greg Lauray cleared 7 feet, 1 inch in the high jump at Saturday’s Virginia Classic, finishing second and tying the school record that Dan Goodyear set in 1979. Teammate Billy Caldwell, a senior, won the 3,000-meter steeplechase.
7. Saint Vincent junior lacrosse player breaks records
Junior Jimmy Kennedy (Pine-Richland) scored five times, giving him a single-season school-record 56 goals, to lead the Bearcats to a 13-10 victory against Hanover on Saturday. Kennedy’s 78 points also are a school record. The previous marks were set by Nick Pensyl in 2015. Saint Vincent is 12-3 overall and 8-0 in the Ohio River Lacrosse Conference.
8. Westminster’s streak hits 19 before loss to Bethany
The Titans softball team beat the Bison, 6-1, in Game 1 of a doubleheader Saturday to tie the school record for consecutive victories. Bethany, however, took Game 2, 3-2, in eight innings. Senior Jazmyn Rohrer struck out a combined 11 to set the single-season school record with 172. She recorded 10 strikeouts in the opener, allowing five hits and no earned runs. Senior Addie Dieterich went 3 for 4 with two runs and an RBI. Rohrer (15-2) took the loss in Game 2 on a walk-off single. Westminster (21-6, 12-1 PAC) trails Thomas More (24-12, 14-0) in the conference, with the teams set to play a doubleheader Wednesday. Bethany is 14-14, 7-7.
9. Slippery Rock senior pitcher sets record for wins
Senior Brooke Dawson earned her 30th career victory Friday when The Rock swept Mercyhurst, becoming the school’s all-time leader in wins. Dawson allowed three runs and six hits in four innings as The Rock held on 8-7. In Game 2, Slippery Rock prevailed 3-1. On Saturday and Sunday, The Rock (22-15, 9-5 PSAC) took three of four from Edinboro.
10. Penn State’s Holmberg nears heptathlon record
Junior Maddie Holmberg (Hempfield) recorded the second-best score in school history Saturday at the Virginia Challenge. Her first-place total of 5,736 points was highlighted by a personal-best time of 2 minutes, 19.62 seconds in the 800 meters. The Penn State record is 5,797, set by Gayle Hunter in 2009.
Jeff Vella is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @JeffVella_Trib.