The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford softball team clinched a share of the AMCC regular-season title with its sweep of LaRoche on Saturday afternoon in Bradford.
In the process of the title-clinching sweep, Jordan Uhing threw her second no-hitter of the season in an 8-0 game one victory. The Panthers followed that up by scoring nine unanswered runs to win the nightcap 9-3.
"It's always special to win a conference title," said head coach Tina Phillips after her team won a share of its first regular-season crown since 2010. "But this year seems extra special. For our team to come together after losing last season, not having fall ball, and an early break in our season due to COVID shows an amazing amount of perseverance and togetherness, and they truly deserve this honor."
Along with the team's success during the day, senior pitcher Jordan Uhing continued her amazing season, pitching her second no-hitter of the season. This was the sixth no-hitter in program history and the fourth under Coach Phillips.
"Another fantastic performance from Jordan. She has had an incredible year, and all her hard work is paying off," said Phillips.
The Panthers got off to their usual quick start, using a quick inning from Uhing in the top half and two runs in the bottom. After Gabby Carpenter led off with a single and was caught stealing, Mackenzie Bonyak reached on an error. She scored a batter later when Daytona Wentzel drove a double to the gap in right center.
Wentzel moved to third on a throw to the plate and then scored on a double steal following a Hannah Lathrop walk.
Pitt-Bradford doubled their advantage in the second with a two-out rally. Carpenter hit a single to center and moved to third on a Bonyak single down the line in right field. The Panthers then pulled off another double steal to score the third run on the game. On the next pitch, Wentzel hit a high fly to left that was dropped, allowing Bonyak to scamper home.
Uhing put down the Redhawks in order in the third and was rewarded as the Panthers scored four in their half of the inning. Faith McLaughlin drew a one-out walk and then moved to third when Chloe Cordova drilled a double to dead center field. The next batter, Katie Marx, hit a grounder to short to reach on a fielder's choice, however, the ball was thrown away as the shortstop tried to get McLaughlin at third, allowing a run to score.
Kendra Colegrove then lined a single to center to bring home the second run and move Marx to third. Carpenter brought in a run with a grounder back to the circle and Bonyak brought in the final run with a single to center.
Uhing (8-1) took over from there, retiring the side in order in the fourth and working around a lead-off walk to end the game.
In her no-hitter, Uhing allowed only three batters to reach base with none of them advancing to second. She allowed just two walks, one in the second and the other in the fifth. She finished with five strikeouts.
The second game of the day did not start as well for the Panthers. Starting pitcher Kerrigan Hoffmann allowed three runs in the opening frame of the game, including a two-run home run.
Pitt-Bradford came right back in the bottom half, scoring a run of their own. Carpenter drew a leadoff walk and moved to third base on successive ground outs in the infield. She scored when Hannah Lathrop was able to reach on an error in the infield.
Hoffmann settled down after the big first inning, shutting the Redhawks down for the remainder of the game. In the second, she got three in a row after a lead-off single and was rewarded as her team came back for five runs in the bottom of the inning.
The Panthers quickly loaded the bases as McLaughlin drew a walk, Cordova beat out a bunt single and Colegrove was hit by a pitch. Dolcey Shunk brought home the first run of the inning as she reached on a fielder's choice that did not record an out.
Carpenter continued the rally with a single back up the middle to bring Cordova home. Colegrove scored on a Bonyak fielder's voice for the third run, and the Panthers pulled off their third double steal of the day for Shunk to score the fourth.
Wentzel closed the rally as she grounded a single through the right side of the infield to bring Bonyak around.
Hoffmann saw two Redhawks single in the third to threaten the new lead but got three quick pop-ups to end the inning scoreless.
Pitt-Bradford used the momentum from Hoffmann's shutdown inning to score two more in their half-inning. McLaughlin drew another lead-off walk and then moved up a bag on a Cordova single through the left side.
Cordova and Kendra Colegrove stole second and third after a fielder's choice and then Carpenter grounded a two-out single back up the middle to bring them both around to put the Panthers up 8-3.
Hoffmann (7-1) shut the game down from there, allowing just a single in the seventh as the Panthers won their 14th conference game of the year. She allowed nine hits in the game but did not walk any batters and struck out two.
Carpenter went 3-for-3 in game two, picking up five hits in the doubleheader. She scored one more run and drove in three.
Cordova also recorded a multi-hit game, finishing 2-for-3. She also scored 3 runs.
The shared title is the first for the Panthers since 2010 when they finished in a three-way tie at 16-4 with Frostburg State and Mount Aloysius.
"We are really excited about this title, but know that it's just a starting point," said Phillips. "We need to continue this momentum as we head into the postseason."
Despite the shared title, the Panthers will be the No. 2 seed in the upcoming AMCC tournament, by virtue of their head-to-head losses with their co-champions, Penn State-Behrend.
The Panthers (16-4 overall, 14-2 AMCC) are scheduled to host a non-conference matchup with Pitt-Greensburg on Wednesday. Their postseason is scheduled to begin on Sunday, May 9, when they will host the No. 7 seed in a best of three series.