Lisa Akamine's pitching dominated the game, but the sophomore's bat clinched it.
The pitcher stepped to the plate with the bases loaded as coach Robin Petrini gave her a simple message.
If Akamine singled, she didn't have to pitch the seventh inning.
The sophomore delivered, lining a single to left field to give the Penn State softball team an 8-0 win over Saint Francis (Pa.) because of the mercy rule, which states that a team with at least an eight-run lead in the fifth inning or later is declared the victor.
Akamine was the dominant force in a split with the Red Flash, pitching 11.1 innings over the two games, giving up only five hits and striking out 14 while walking none.
The performance lowered the sophomore's ERA to 2.86, as she held the line for the Nittany Lions after senior pitcher Jackie Hill left the game after 1.2 innings, surrendering five earned runs.
Akamine kept Penn State in the game, something the team believes is big for the pitcher going forward.
"It was big and I thought Lisa did a great job of stepping up," Petrini said. "I think it's big for her and her confidence to know that she can come in and shut the door like that."
Akamine credited her strong performance to a high level of confidence in her defense, saying it was easier to focus knowing she could trust her teammates behind her.
That confidence propelled the sophomore through the Red Flash lineup, as Akamine routinely retired the side in order, keeping Penn State firmly in control the entire night.
The brisk pace to Akamine's night kept the Lions loose. On a chilly night where jackets, sweatshirts and gloves became commonplace, the sophomore kept Penn State moving and kept the energy up.
"It's making things quick," catcher Danee Collett said. "We don't have to stand out there and stay still and get cold, that's really when it affects you. She keeps it going quick and it keeps us moving."
While Akamine had dominated from start to finish on the mound, it was her final act at the plate that brought a smile to her face after the game.
The sophomore went 2-for-4 on the night with two singles, boosting her average to .273. While teammates said they knew she was frustrated about her previous at-bats, Akamine was able to end the night as the hero on both sides of the diamond but didn't neglect her teammates, who put her in position to end the night.
"That felt awesome, I won't lie," Akamine said with a giant grin. "Finishing off with an RBI felt great. Our whole team was hitting really well, so I'm really proud of them."