After winning four of its last six contests this past weekend and outscoring the last five opponents by a combined score of 20-9, the Penn State softball team (6-9) cooled off with a loss to Miami of Ohio on Wednesday.
Despite a seventh inning rally where Penn State loaded the bases with one out, the Nittany Lions fell to the RedHawks, 5-2.
The resurgent Alyssa Renwick continued her tear from the left side of the plate, pacing the team with three hits and one RBI. The shortstop stayed in the No. 2 spot in the lineup, as her batting average has steadily climbed since head coach Robin Petrini placed her there over one week ago.
Ace Lisa Akamine took the hill for the Lions, allowing a two-run home run to Miami's Bree Lipscomb in the first inning. With the loss, Akamine falls to 4-5 on the season.
The fourth inning appeared to be the backbreaker for the Lions. Kailyn Johnson doubled home Lauren Yao after Yao reached on an error, to pull Penn State within one run. The Lions then stranded two runners on base and the RedHawks capitalized with an RBI groundout in the bottom half of the fourth.
Penn State appeared to pick up steam in the bottom of the fifth when Akamine shut opponents down for her first 1-2-3 inning of the day, but RedHawks pitcher Jessica Simpson countered with her own 1-2-3 inning in the sixth.
Jordan Wheatley, Alyssa Sovereign and Renwick packed the bases in the seventh with no outs, but all three would end up stranded as the next two batters respectively struck out and grounded out.
The achilles heel for Penn State seemed to be shallow bloop singles, as the RedHawks had four such hits on the day.
The Lions will play this weekend at South Florida for the USF Under Armour Challenge. Among the opponents are South Florida, Virginia Tech and Rutgers, all of whom sit outside the Top-25 with Penn State.