Desi Giordano propelled the Penn State offense with one stroke of her bat.
As the junior connected with Carmen Gurrola's pitch, there was no doubt in any of her teammates' minds Giordano's hit was leaving Nittany Lion Field.
Her ball sailed well over the left centerfield fence and gave the Nittany Lions' offense a jumpstart.
Giordano's hit was one of 13 the Lions collected during their 8-0 win against Saint Francis (Pa.) in the second game of a doubleheader. The Red Flash (8-15) won the first game, 5-3, and held the Lions to three hits, but after 25 minutes to refocus between games, the Lions (18-8) came out mentally prepared for the second game.
"We played aggressive and we talked about that after the second game," coach Robin Petrini said. "People were aggressive at the plate, and it's a different mentality. So when you take an aggressiveness to the plate you're thinking about hitting and not worrying about what the pitcher's doing."
Petrini used Giordano's two-run home run, which the coach estimated went 250 feet, as an example of aggressive hitting. However, Giordano, who went 2-for-3 in the second game, wasn't the only player to record multiple hits.
Center fielder Cassidy Bell went 2-for-3, as did catcher Danee Collett and first baseman Kailyn Johnson. Pitcher Lisa Akamine (8-3) complimented her six shutout innings in the circle with two hits, while second baseman Lauren Rossi had two hits and two RBIs.
"People were just like, this pitcher's not doing anything special," Bell said of Gurrola, who surrendered 13 hits through 5.1 innings. "Just go out there, try and relax and just focus on what you can do and try not to put too much pressure on yourself."
Petrini said her team's home opener gave many of the players early game jitters. Since the Lions played their first 24 games on the road, Petrini said the players struggled to get used to their home field right away and played on their heels.
Collett said the team felt a sense of urgency heading into the fourth inning -- the Lions scored seven runs after the third inning. She said it's so easy to lose a one-run lead, she and her teammates needed the offense to take some pressure off the defense, which carried the team until the fourth inning.
Collett collected three hits and four RBIs during the two games and said she felt confident in the batter's box after her three-run homerun during the first game. Collett said she hopes the team can carry the momentum from the win into its Big Ten opener at 2 p.m. Saturday against Minnesota.
"I wish that game was sooner, like tomorrow," Collett said. "That momentum we had hitting, we were all just seeing it and hitting it good, so I hope we carry that over."