Softball, Bucknell, Madison Shaffer

Pitcher Madison Shaffer (6) winds up to pitch during the second game of a doubleheader against Bucknell at Beard Field on Wednesday, April 19, 2017.

Penn State will return to the diamond on Friday with one player facing a familiar foe.

The Nittany Lions will be playing in their first tournament of the season in the Sand Dollar Classic in Gulf Shores, Ala.

Among Penn State's opponents at the tournament is No. 14 Ole Miss, which is a familiar opponent for Penn State catcher Kennedy Legg .

“It’s going to be weird because I know some of their habits and they know mine,” Legg said. “It’s going to be fun. I do keep up with them so it will be nice to see them again.”

Last season, Legg was a member of the Ole Miss team, seeing action in 12 games mainly as a pinch hitter and pinch runner.

“There is always going to be jitters and nerves. Part of me wants to prove them wrong, like ‘Hey, you made a mistake,’” Legg said. “Either way, win or lose, I’m happy with the choice I made, but we’re definitely going to win.”

Ole Miss made the NCAA Super Regional last season, but was defeated by UCLA in two games.

The Nittany Lions will look to improve on their 2-11 record against ranked teams last season.

Before Penn State gets to Ole Miss on Saturday, the Nittany Lions take on another ranked opponent Friday in No. 11 Alabama, followed by a tilt with Virginia Tech. 

The Crimson Tide made it to the Super Regional in the NCAA Tournament before being defeated by Florida in three games.

On Saturday, the Nittany Lions will have another doubleheader, facing the Rebels to begin the day.

Penn State will close against ACC opponent Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets finished 19-34 last season and were defeated by the Nittany Lions twice last season. 

“Our only goal this weekend is to get better. If we win, it doesn’t matter — get better. If we lose, doesn’t matter — get better,” coach Amanda Lehotak said. “That’s our goal to reassess on Monday or Tuesday if we got better.”

In its 13 games against ranked teams last season, Penn State was outscored 128-23 and only four of the games went seven innings.

The Nittany Lions will finish their trip to Alabama with a matchup against Lipscomb. 

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