A month into its season, Penn State can finally say it has won a contest.
Coach Clarisa Crowell’s squad picked up its first win of the season with an extra-inning 7-5 victory over Nebraska in the series finale Sunday.
The Nittany Lion offense started the game off strong when Maggie Finnegan singled and would later score on a passed ball. Not too long after, Penn State’s Shelli Rivard advanced to third and Melody Coombs scored for the blue and white.
The runs kept coming for the Nittany Lions, as Lexie Black on second ran home to score for Penn State, while Shelli Rivard on third ran home to bring a 4-0 lead in the first inning.
Penn State’s Kaitlyn Morrison advanced to second on a passed ball, while Lilia Crouthamel advanced to third on a passed ball.
Previously unseen this season, the blue and white finished the top of the first strong with four runs, four hits, zero errors and a 4-0 lead.
Bailey Parshall started the bottom of the second strong, throwing pitches that would strike out Nebraska’s Tristen Edwards, allowing Penn State to keep its 4-0 lead against Nebraska going into the second inning.
Unable to get Coombs back to home base, Penn State finished the top of the second with a 4-0 lead.
Parshall started out the top of the second strong, striking out Nebraska’s Courtney Wallace and Rylie Unzicker back to back. With one player on each base, Nebraska managed to pull through making it to home base, but kept Penn State at a 4-1 lead at the bottom of the second.
At the top of the third, Morrison made it out to first base after two failed attempts from Dani Fey and Crouthamel, putting Ally Kurland at bat. Wallace managed to strike out Kurland before switching sides, leaving Penn State with 2 outs.
Penn State closed out the top of the third with a 4-1 lead.
Parshall was back at it again throwing pitches that would strike out Nebraska’s Billie Andrews. Though Parshall’s pitch was not enough to keep Cam Ybarra from making it to second base and then to home, bringing in another score for Nebraska.
Coombs hit the first home run of her career in the top of fourth, bringing Penn State to a 5-2 lead.
Penn State once again finished an inning strong with one run, one hit, zero errors and three-run lead.
Parshall kept the powerful pitches coming, striking out Nebraska’s Sarah Yocom and Caitlynn Neal back to back.
Penn State moved into the fifth inning with a strong 5-2 lead.
No solid plays were made during the top of the fifth, but Penn State kept its 5-2 lead.
Andrews made it to second base and back to home base, scoring for the Cornhuskers. Right behind Andrews came Sydney Gray scoring for Nebraska, putting the game at 5-4.
At the top of the sixth inning, Ferrell came back and threw pitches that would strike out Penn State’s Ally Kurland and Maggie Finnegan.
Yocom advanced quickly through the bases, bringing another run for the Cornhuskers putting the game at 5-5.
No solid plays were made in the top of the seventh keeping the game at 5-5.
The bottom of the seventh was potent for the Cornhuskers, being able to load the bases before eventually being neutralized by the blue and white’s defense.
Chelsea Bisi pulled through in the extra inning, hitting a pitch that would bring Finnegan and Liana Jones back-to-back runs, putting Penn State at a 7-5 lead.
Batting accuracy needs work
Penn State played a solid game — creating a 4-0 lead in the first inning — but that doesn’t take away from the many strikeouts Penn State endured throughout the game.
Most of the strikeouts came from pitches against Nebraska’s Ferrell, who tallied three strikeouts in the matchup.
To excel in the Big Ten for the rest of the season, Penn State will likely need to shore up its accuracy at the plate if it wants to continue to see the win column.
Staying strong throughout the game
Penn State started the game off incredibly strong with a 4-0 lead by the end of the first inning.
Throughout the second and third innings, though, the Nittany Lions fell back and didn’t make any runs until the fourth inning while also taking their foot off the gas again in the fifth and sixth innings.
Consistently keeping up with the Big Ten’s bats proves no easy task, so Penn State would be best served to spread out its scoring over the entire frame in the future.
Another shining moment for Bailey Parshall
Parshall pulled through to play an outstanding final game in the series against Nebraska.
Throughout the game, Parshall managed to strikeout eight batters, putting Penn State in the lead for nearly the entirety of the game.
If she can keep up this pitching accuracy in future games, the rest of the Nittany Lions’ season may be looking up.
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