May 9, 2013 at 10:38 PM
Penn State advanced to the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals with a 5-2 win over sixth-seeded Illinois on Thursday night.
As has been the trend this season, the 11th-seeded Nittany Lions (16-33) once again rode the bat of senior Cassidy Bell and the arm of freshman Macy Jones en route to victory that sets up a Friday matchup with third-seeded Minnesota.
The Lions got off to a quick start in the game with the Illini (22-27) by scoring two runs in the top of the first. However, Illinois would respond with a two-run shot by Jess Perkins to tie the game heading into the second inning.
Bell and senior Lauren Yao were both on base when senior Kailyn Johnson would put the team up for good with a two-out triple into right field, giving the Lions a 4-2 lead.
Bell, who finished the game a triple short of hitting for the cycle, would hit her team-leading 20th home run in the top of the seventh inning to extend the Lions advantage to 5-2. Jones would get the complete game win after retiring the Illini in the bottom of the frame, finishing the contest with six strikeouts (including her 100th on the year) and two runs on six hits.
The Lions and the Golden Gophers (33-16) square off for the first time this season at Bowling Stadium at 5:30 p.m. Friday afternoon.
May 6, 2013 at 4:15 PM
After upsetting No. 6 Nebraska (39-12, 16-6 Big Ten) on Sunday in the middle contest of a three-game set, Penn State (15-33, 5-17 Big Ten) dropped its final game of the regular season, 2-0, to the Huskers on Monday.
Much like the series' first game, Monday's matchup featured each team's ace in the circle, with Macy Jones (12-17) getting the start for the Lions opposed by Tatum Edwards (25-8) for Nebraska.
Tatum's sister Taylor Edwards got things started for the Huskers, launching a solo shot off Jones in the first inning. Nebraska would add to its lead in the third inning when Gabby Banda singled to bring in Jordan Bettiol from second base.
The 2-0 advantage would be more than enough for Tatum Edwards. Cassidy Bell was the only Lion who managed a hit off of Edwards in her complete game effort, singling to right field in the sixth inning.
With six strikeouts, Edwards will certainly be a formidable pitcher to face for the entire Big Ten in the conference tournament.
Penn State sits in the 11th seed, second to last among Big Ten teams, heading into the tournament on Thursday, May 9.
The Lions will take on sixth-seeded Illinois in the tournament's first round at 5:30 p.m on Thursday in Lincoln, Neb.
May 5, 2013 at 8:47 PM
On Senior Day, the Penn State softball team provided a come-from-behind victory over No. 14 Nebraska in front of the largest crowd to ever see a Nittany Lion game at Beard Field, winning 3-2.
The 768 fans in attendance watched as sophomore Marissa Diescher earned her first win of the season, pitching five-scoreless innings in-relief before senior Lauren Yao provided the knockout punch in the second of the three game series against the Cornhuskers.
With the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth inning, Yao worked the pitch count to 15 before hitting a bases clearing double into the gap in left field, propelling the Lions to their first win over a ranked opponent since the team defeated No. 9 Oklahoma in March of 2011. Before hitting the eventual game-winner, the senior fouled off seven consecutive pitches.
Nebraska would not let the game go away easily; putting runners on base in both the sixth and seventh innings. However, strong defense from the Lions would keep the Cornhusker’s tally at one.
On the day, Diescher only allowed just three hits and two walks, while striking out two batters, including the last out of the game. The sophomore came to the pitching circle in relief for starter Jordan Wheatley in the third inning after the junior surrendered two runs and six hits in the first two innings.
For the third victory in a row, Penn State scored all their runs in the same inning, making them a potentially dangerous team heading into next weekend’s Big Ten Championships in Lincoln, Nebraska. The Lions and Cornhuskers will finish their series tomorrow at 1 p.m. at Beard Field, before a possible rematch in the tournament. The Lions will look to earn their sixth conference win of the season before entering the tournament as the 11-seed ahead of Indiana.
May 4, 2013 at 4:32 PM
Penn State began its final series before the Big Ten tournament with a 3-1 loss to No. 6 Nebraska on Saturday afternoon at Beard Field.
Nebraska jumped out to an early lead when a Penn State throwing error from third base plated two Huskers. Although the runs were unearned, they would spoil a stellar outing from Macy Jones, who pitched all seven innings for the Lions, allowing three hits and striking out one in a classic pitcher's duel.
Jones would also score the lone run for the Lions off a Reina Furuya double in the second inning.
However, Nebraska starting pitcher Tatum Edwards proved why she holds a 1.94 ERA, defending her team's 2-1 lead until the fifth inning when a pair of Huskers hits extended their lead to 3-1. Edwards allowed just three hits while striking out three in the complete game victory.
Penn State will celebrate Senior Day at Beard Field on Sunday with the first pitch of game two against Nebraska slated for 2:30 p.m.
April 24, 2013 at 7:30 PM
Wednesday afternoon at Beard Field started off as a pitcher’s duel between Penn State’s Jordan Wheatley and Kent State’s Emma Johnson.
The game was tied through five innings, but Penn State eventually broke through for a run in the sixth, and held on for a 2-1 victory Wednesday afternoon.
The Nittany Lions got on the board in the first inning with a home run by leadoff hitter, Cassidy Bell. They had another opportunity to score in the third inning with runners on second and third base, but they couldn’t drive the potential runs home.
The Golden Flashes got their first hit of the game in the third inning on an Erika Warren single. Kent State finally got on the board in the fifth inning with an RBI single by Chloe Kesterson.
Mother nature decided to intervene after the fifth inning with rain and thunderstorms. The rain delay lasted two hours and one minute.
Both Wheatley and Johnson continued pitching after the delay. Wheatley pitched six 1/3 innings and two strikeouts, Johnson pitched six innings and had nine strikeouts.
“Johnson has a really nice riseball,” coach Robin Petrini said. “I told their coach no one has made us look that bad all year, she did a great job.”
Penn State took the lead for good 2-1 in the sixth inning after Bell was intentionally walked, advanced to second base after an error by Kent State’s catcher Erika Warren, and scored on a Macy Jones single.
“It was a very tight game and we just had clutch hitting,” Bell said. “Macy got the clutch hit in the seventh to take the lead and that’s what we needed.”
Jones closed the door on Kent State with a two-out save in the seventh inning.
The Lions will travel to Iowa to take on the Hawkeyes on Friday for a three game weekend series before closing out the regular season at home on May 4th against Nebraska.
April 20, 2013 at 11:05 AM
Northwestern came into chilly Beard Field on Friday night and beat Penn State 8-3 in the first game of a three game series.
Northwestern got the scoring started early in the top of the first inning with three runs on two hits and an error by the Nittany Lion defense.
The Lions retaliated in the third inning by scoring one run off of a Kailyn Johnson groundout. Shannon Hutchinson scored on the hit.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Lions scored their second run thanks to another Johnson RBI.
Northwestern maintained a 3-2 lead until the sixth inning. Penn State pitcher Macy Jones tried to hold off Northwestern’s offense to no avail.
The Wildcats teed off on Jones with five runs coming off of three home runs and five hits.
The Lions tried to rally in the seventh but only scored one more run while leaving two runners on base.
Penn State and Northwestern will face off again on Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m.
April 17, 2013 at 8:20 PM
Penn State snapped its three-game skid with an 8-4 comeback victory over Purdue in game one of a doubleheader at Beard Field on Tuesday.
After two costly Nittany Lion errors afforded the Boilermakers three runs in the top of the third inning, the Lions responded with three runs of their own in the inning's bottom half.
The Lions' quick response was powered by a pair of doubles by Reina Furuya and Kailyn Johnson, as well as a sacrifice fly off the bat of Macy Jones.
A fifth-inning rally opened the game up for the Lions, as they pushed four runs across on five hits for an 8-4 lead. Renwick and Hutchinson drove in a run each, while Sovereign lead the Penn State surge with a double that plated two runners.
Penn State's defense settled down behind pitcher Macy Jones after the Boilermakers' offensive third inning, allowing one run on one hit through the game's remaining four innings.
Game two of the twin-bill commenced at 7:45 p.m.
March 21, 2013 at 4:29 PM
Penn State's three-game series in East Lansing, Mich., against Michigan State has been canceled, according to a press release.
After Friday's contest against the Spartans was postponed on Wednesday, inclement weather forced the remaining two games on Saturday and Sunday to be canceled, as well. The games have not yet been rescheduled.
The Lions will now be forced to wait until their home opener against Michigan on March 27 to play their first Big Ten game.
April 24, 2012 at 10:44 PM
On Wednesday, Penn State (13-26) will travel to Kent, Ohio to take on Kent State (24-10) for a twin bill beginning at 3 p.m.
This past weekend, the Nittany Lions were able to score only one run in three games against Wisconsin, who showcased their ace Cassandra Darrah (18-7, 2.15) twice. This weekend, the Lions will look to their lineup led by Cassidy Bell to right the ship against Kent State’s dominant freshman Emma Johnson (13-11, 2.04).
Bell’s .364 BA towers above Kent State’s entire roster, and although the junior has played in just 21 games this season, her seven home runs match Kent State’s team-leader Abbey Ledford’s total, who has played 44 games.
Bell’s home run in the series-opener against Wisconsin accounted for Penn State’s lone run in the series, as she finished the series 3-for-7.
Kasie Hatfield, last week's Big Ten Player of the Week, cooled down in the Wisconsin series, finishing 1-for-7. However, she was 3-for-6 in the Kent State series last season.
Also, the Lions were able to put up a nine-spot against the Golden Flashes’ Danielle Abernathy last season, including a 2-run home run from Alyssa Sovereign. Abernathy (7-7, 3.46 this season) is likely to take the hill against the Lions again this series.
The Golden Flashes’ secret weapon against the Lions could be senior 1B Shannon Laughlin. Laughlin was struggling most of the season (.258, 4 HR, 22 RBI) before being named the MAC’s player of the week for her performance this past week, highlighted by six hits and seven RBI.
Kent State has traditionally been a matchup Penn State looks forward to, as they have defeated Golden Flashes in each of the past six contests. The last time the two linked up was last April, when Penn State toppled Kent State 4-2 in extra innings, which similarly helped the Lions snap a three-game losing streak.
This series marks the non-conference finale for both clubs. Penn State will finish the season with three favorable series against Illinois, Ohio State and Minnesota, all of whom share sub-.500 Big 10 records with Penn State.
April 15, 2012 at 2:03 PM
Battling black clouds and constant drizzle Saturday evening, Penn State softball (12-23, 3-7) tamed the Indiana Hoosiers (21-18, 5-5) to the tune of a 5-2 victory in the second game of their doubleheader.
Weather forecasts predicted rain showers starting in the early evening, and considering the 2 p.m. matchup lasted two and a half hours, it was looking as if the second game would be cut short.
Fortunately for the Nittany Lions, the second game moved at a faster pace, as it took just 39 minutes to finish the first three innings.
â€‹Starting pitcher Jordan Wheatley (2-0, 4.27 ERA) took the mound for just her sixth start of the season, and first start on the hill since March 3. Head coach Robin Petrini left Wheatley in the lineup as well, with her seeking her first base hit since March 9.
â€‹Wheatley started strong, striking leadoff hitter Jenna Abraham out, which would be one of Wheatley’s two strikeouts recorded.
â€‹Throughout the day, Petrini traipsed on the fields several times to protest calls by home plate umpire Steve Gould. Gould was collecting an arrangement of boo’s and verbal assaults from the home crowd over his tight strike zone.
â€‹“The strike zone was a little tight, but it’s one of those things you’ve got to work around and trust your defense,” said Wheatley. “We had a great defense behind us so I wasn’t too worried about it.”
The right-hander cruised through the first five innings rendering Indiana scoreless, with help from her defense who played the entire game without an error for only the third time in the past 20 games.
As if her complete game performance on the mound was not enough, Wheatley helped herself with the bat as well. In the bottom of the 2nd inning, she doubled to left-centerfield to plate the first two runs of the game. For her next at bat in the fourth inning, Wheatley worked a full count before walking and drawing a wild pitch on ball four. The wild pitch led to Shannon Hutchinson crossing the plate to put Penn State up 3-0.
Before Wheatley worked herself out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the 7th, centerfielder Cassidy Bell made the day’s top play. Bell launched a bullet from the warning track to 2nd base, gunning down Indiana’s pitcher Meaghan Murphy who tested Bell’s arm in an attempt to stretch her single to a double.
Penn State ended the day with 10 hits, including two apiece from Lauren Yao and Alyssa Renwick.
â€‹The Lions and Hoosiers will face off again in the series’ rubber match Sunday at 1 p.m. Petrini would not speculate on who would be the starting pitcher for the game.