A number of area softball players are off to dominant starts to their freshmen years in college.

Troy graduate Hannah Jackson, a freshman at Penn State Altoona, tossed a perfect game for the softball team on Wednesday, helping the Lady Lions defeat Green Mountain College 14-0. Penn State Altoona also beat Division II Malone University 10-5 later in the day.

Jackson's perfect game is the third all-time for the Penn State Altoona softball program. In five innings, she struck out eight batters while posting a spotless line.

Another Troy graduate from last year, Katie Jackson, is hitting .571 to lead Alfred State in hitting. She has seven runs scored and two stolen bases on the year.

Another Alfred State freshman, Northeast Bradford graduate Aubri Mosier, is second on the team with a .538 average and she leads the team with seven RBI, and she has a home run and three runs scored.

Another Northeast Bradford graduate from last year, Haylie Phillips, is second on the team at Wilkes in hitting with a .429 average and she has an RBI and three runs scored. She also has pitched 3 2/3 innings, with a 1.91 ERA.

Fellow Northeast Bradford graduate Brittany Haight is 3-0 with a 2.25 ERA and 11 strikeouts in 9 1/3 innings for Kings.

Wyalusing graduate Bri Jennings was named the PSAC Central Player of the Week for Lock Haven University. She was instrumental in Lock Haven's 5-1 start, which included five straight wins after dropping the season opener.

Jennings, a sophomore, is a big reason behind Lock Haven's solid 5-1 start. She's 2-0 in the circle and also hitting .500 at the plate.

Over 17.2 innings of work, she's recorded a sensational 1.19 ERA. She has a team-high 19 strikeouts and has held opponents to a .221 batting-average.

In five games, she's 5-for-10 at the plate with three doubles and three RBIs.

On March 3 she led Lock Haven to a 7-0 win over Goldey-Beacom College. She struck out nine, over seven innings and allowed just two hits. She walked only one GBC batter.

Canton graduate Morgan Palmer has scored a run in three games for Lock Haven.

Troy graduate Kate Pratt leads Mansfield with a .467 average and she has two home runs, five RBI and three runs scored. She is 2-2 on the mound with a 4.67 ERA and five strikeouts in six innings.

Two other Troy graduates also play for Mansfield. Allie Earle and Amanda Goodwin have each played in four games, with Earle starting one and Goodwin starting two.

Wyalusing graduate Sarah Hoffman is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA with six strikeouts in five innings for Susquehanna.

Tioga graduate Marissa Miller has started six of seven games at catcher for Division I Canisius this year. She is hitting .333 with five runs scored, a triple, a home run and seven RBI.

Notre Dame graduate Becca Saggiomo, of Athens, has started 10 of the 11 games she has played for Division I Niagara this year.

Another Notre Dame graduate, Sydney Dimon, is hitting .167 with four starts in seven games for Division I Iona.

Wellsboro graduate Hannah Smith has started four games and has a .143 average for Lycoming.

Wyalusing graduate Casey Davis plays for Penn College and Notre Dame grad Sam Erbach plays for Corning Community College.

The seasons are about to begin for Canton graduate Natalie Siedhof at Division I Colgate, Towanda graduate Alison Wickwire at Alfred and Tioga graduate Sarah Wayson at the University of Rochester.

BASEBALL

Sayre grad Taylor Skerpon hit his first collegiate home run on Friday as Penn State beat Houston Baptist 9-3 to improve to 4-8 on the year.

Skerpon leads Penn State in hitting and RBI on the young season.

The sophomore tallied two more runs for Penn State in the win, hurling the ball over the left field wall a runnner on first to earn two RBIs. They were his ninth and 10th RBIs of the season.

Penn State is currently on an eight-game, 10-day swing through Texas.

The Nittany Lions snapped a five-game losing streak last Friday with a 4-2 win over Stephen F. Austin at the UTSA Collegiate Baseball Classic in San Antonio.

Skerpon went 3-for-4 in the win.

On Saturday, Skerpon was 0-for-3 with an RBI, but was caught stealing and committed his first error at shortstop in a 3-2 loss to host UTSA.

Penn State finished off the UTSA Classic Sunday with a 3-0 win over Nebraska-Omaha. After six scoreless innings, the Nittany Lions scored three runs in the seventh inning.

Skerpon, who was 2-for-3 in the game, capped the seventh-inning rally with an RBI single.

On Tuesday, Tioga grad Patton Taylor was lit up for six earned runs on four hits and three walks in just 2/3 innings pitched in a no decision as the Nittany Lions rallied from an 8-2 deficit to tie the game 8-8 before falling to Houston, 14-8.

Skerpon went 0-for-4 with an RBI on a sacrifice fly in the loss.

Taylor is now 0-2 with a 15.75 ERA in 8 innings pitched. He has struck out seven and walked eight.

On Wednesday, Skerpon was 1-for-4 with two RBI - an RBI single and a sacrifice fly. He also committed two errors - his second and third of the season.

Skerpon is hitting a team-high .351 (13-for-37) with a team-high 10 RBI. He has drawn five walks and struck out four times. He has scored two runs and had one stolen base.

Towanda graduate Dakota Roof is hitting .250 with a run scored for Lock Haven, while fellow Towanda graduate Zach Place has one start and has pitched in three games for Lemoyne. He is 0-2 with a 4.66 ERA and five strikeouts in 9 2/3 innings.

Another Towanda graduate, Mason Roof, plays for Millersville.

Wyalusing graduate Mitchell Pickett plays for Penn College.

Waverly graduate Niq Sinsabaugh and Sayre grad Jared Donovan play for Corning Community College, while Tioga grad Tommy Ferguson plays for Onandoga Community College.

BASKETBALL

ATHENS GRAD PLAYS IN CONFERENCE TOURNEY

Redshirt Freshman Katie Roth led all players with 15 points as the Hartford women's basketball team scored a 68-53 victory over the Binghamton Bearcats in the opening game of the 2013 America East Championship presented by SEFCU. Roth and the Hawks advance to face the winner of a quarterfinal match-up between No. 6 UMBC and No. 6 Vermont. The win for Hartford also secured their seventh 20-win season in school history and the first since 2010.

Athens graduate Taylor Clark had two rebounds in six minutes for Hartford. Notre Dame graduate Mallory Lawes had seven points and two assists for Binghamton.

Roth was joined by two members of the senior class, Nikkia Smith and Daphne Elliott, in double figures. Elliott finished the game with 11 points, while Smith added 10. For the game, Hartford combined to shoot 45.1 percent from the field (23-of-51) with Roth and Alex Hall leading the way. Roth connected on five of her eight attempts, with one of those a three pointer, while Hall finished 4-of-6 with a three pointer for nine points. Hall started the contest making her first four shot attempts. As a team, the Hawks also capitalized at the line hitting 15 of their 18 free throw attempts for 83.3 percent. From beyond the arc, the Hawks finished 7-of-17 for 41.2 percent. Defensively, Hartford forced the Bearcats into 12 turnovers, while committing just eight, and turned those miscues into 13 points. Hartford also finished the game with 14 assists, in 23 baskets, with Elliott and Amber Bepko leading the team with four. The Bearcats would turnaround an early 5-2 Hartford advantage by scoring five straight to take their first lead of the contest less than four minutes in. That lead came courtesy of a long ball from Stephanie Jensen. That was also the only lead the Bearcats would manage as Hartford responded by scoring the next six and regaining an 11-7 advantage they wouldn't relinquish. That Hawks run included their second three pointer, from Shanise Bultron, and a layup from Ruthanne Doherty. After four-straight gave Hartford a 21-13 advantage, their largest to that point, with 8:46 remaining, the Bearcats cut the lead down to four using another three from Jensen and 1-of-2 at the line from Kara Elofson. Hartford responded by scoring eight of the next 10 and taking their first double digit lead of the contest 29-19 with 3:34 remaining. The teams would then trade three point plays to end half, the first a layup-and-one from Binghamton's Sherae Swinson, the second a three pointer from Bepko. At the break, Hartford was shooting at a 50-percent clip on 12-of-24 and was led by Elliott with seven points. Coming out of the intermission, the teams traded the first two baskets before the Bearcats cut the Hawks lead to five on back-to-back baskets from Simone Thomas and Mallory Lawes. Hartford answered that five-point Bearcat run by scoring 11 of the next 13 to gain a 14-point advantage, 45-31. Included in the Hawks 11 point run were three three-pointerss, one each from Roth, Bultron and Bepko. Binghamton responded by scoring five-straight and cutting the lead back into single digits t 45-36, but the Hawks answered that with their seventh three pointer of the game, this one from Hall. Following Hall's long range basket, the teams would trade the next four until the Bearcats managed to thread together an 8-2 run that cut Hartford's lead back into single digits, 56-48. After a three pointer from Jensen pulled the Bearcats back within eight with just under two minutes to play, Hartford took advantage at the line making eight straight from the charity stripe in the 112 seconds. The final four from Smith secured the Hawks victory and their eighth trip to the conference semifinals in the last nine years.

MCDUFFEE PLAYS IN NCAA TOURNEY

Tioga graduate Kara McDuffee led her St. Lawrence team into the NCAA Division III Championshps, but the The No. 9 Tufts women's basketball team hit seven of 10 three-point attempts in the first half and never looked back while posting a 57-32 victory last week.

The Jumbos, now 24-2 overall, will face Babson College in a Greater Boston area NCAA Regional final at Cousens tomorrow night at 7 p.m. The Beavers (26-2) won 61-45 against New Paltz in the other NCAA first round game at Cousens on Friday night. A young and promising St. Lawrence team finishes its season with a 19-9 record.

"We knew coming into this game that this was going to be a tough match up for us," said St. Lawrence head coach Dan Roiger. "We didn't shoot well, and Tufts shot the lights out in the first half and is a fantastic defensive team. This was a great experience for a young team. I'm proud of all that we accomplished this season."

The Saints scored the game's first basket on a jumper by sophomore Kara McDuffee. However, Tufts made their first four three-point attempts by four different players while charging to a 19-5 lead. When sophomore center Hayley Kanner banked one in on her first three-point attempt of the season, Tufts led 24-5 to cap a 24-3 run covering eight minutes. Sophomore Hannah Foley later tossed in a three-point heave as the shot clock expired, helping the Jumbos to a 35-13 advantage at intermission.

Kanner's nine points led Tufts at the break. The Jumbos had nine assists on 12 first-half baskets, including three by junior Liz Moynihan. Tufts also had eight steals in the first 20 minutes, with three by first-year Emma Roberson. Tufts was five for 17 (.294) on non three-point shots in the first half.

McDuffee totaled nine points with five rebounds for the Saints in the opening half, while junior Kelly Legg had four points with three rebounds and a block.

The Saints would again score the first points of the half on a free throw by first-year Amanda Roberts to open the second. Tufts scored the next nine though, and led 44-14 after a free throw by Kate Barnosky at the 14-minute mark.

That 30-point margin would be the largest of the game for the Jumbos. St. Lawrence would not get any closer than 23 points, which came late in the contest after a layup by first-year Lauren Quattrocchi made it 55-32.

The seven threes would be the Tufts total at the end of the game after they missed all six of their attempts in the second half.

Foley and Kanner both finished at 11 points to lead Tufts, while Foley's six rebounds also led the winners. Barnosky had nine points, four rebounds, four assists, and two blocks, while senior co-captain Bre Dufault finished with nine points, five rebounds, and two steals.

The 32 points allowed by Tufts matched their second-best defensive performance of the season. Legg led the Saints with 11 points and eight rebounds, while McDuffee totaled nine points and seven rebounds. St. Lawrence shot just 26.2 percent (11/42) overall, including 2 for 12 (.167) on threes.

GYMNASTICS

WARREN CENTER GIRL HELPS ALABAMA WIN MATCHUP OF NCAA CHAMPS

In a battle of NCAA Champions, the Alabama gymnastics team, featuring Lauren Beers of Warren Center, came out on top against the UCLA Bruins last week, 197.075-196.375 in front of 11,775 fans in Coleman Coliseum.

"This was a big competition for us for a lot of different reasons," UA head coach Sarah Patterson said. "I felt like our team needed to cross over that 197-threshold and now this is our third meet in a row that we've done that."

Junior Kim Jacob won her fifth all-around title of the season, tying her career-high of 39.425. It was Alabama's first non-conference meet of the season and eighth meet of the season. It was UA's third consecutive 197-plus score.

"We weren't perfect today, but I can see that there are a lot of improvements," Patterson said. "We had some people step in. Ashley Sledge has a sore foot and if this was the national championship, I probably would have let her go on vault and floor. But based on the fact that we need her in the end, I thought it was an opportunity to get some other people out there and that being said, I think some of them did a great job."

Sophomore Kaitlyn Clark led the Crimson Tide on the vault with a 9.9, which ties her season and career-best score. Freshman Beers scored a 9.85 while junior Diandra Milliner chipped in a 9.875 on the vault.

Senior Ashley Sledge opened for the Tide uneven bars rotation with a 9.85, pacing Alabama to a 49.0 team score. Senior Ashley Priess added a 9.825 in the anchor spot while Jacob and senior Becca Alexin posted matching 9.8s.

On the balance beam, Jacob tied her season-high of 9.9 while Priess scored a season-best 9.925 to push the Tide to a 49.350. Junior Sarah DeMeo rebounded from a falls during uneven bars routine to score a 9.85 on the beam, a score Milliner matched as the Tide's leadoff.

"That was awesome for Sarah DeMeo," Jacob said. "She's a competitor and she's experienced, so she knows exactly how to come back and she definitely stepped it up. But we knew she would do that because she's been here three years and every time she puts on a great routine."

The Tide closed strong with a 49.450 on the floor exercise paced by career-best 9.95s from Jacob and Milliner. DeMeo and Priess both chipped in 9.875s on the floor.

"I think tonight was a great meet for us and we've been talking each week about having a springboard performance and using each meet to launch us to the next meet," Priess said. I think we did a really great job with that tonight. I think we just need to continue to progress and work on different areas to be excellent and it's going to pay off in the end."

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