Penn State was looking for revenge on Iowa Friday morning.
The Nittany Lions, fresh off of a walk-off 6-5 loss to the Hawkeyes in the second leg of a doubleheader Thursday, fell again in their neutral-site matchup by a final score of 2-0 again in extras.
Coach Clarisa Crowell’s squad now sits at 0-9 on the season.
Sophomore Vanessa Oatley got off to a hot start in the circle, picking up a 1-2-3 inning in the first.
Iowa right-hander Sarah Lehman came back in the bottom of the first with a quick inning of her own.
After allowing a one-out double in the top of the second, Oatley kept her poise to get through the inning unscathed.
Sophomore Kaitlyn Morrison drew a walk in the bottom of the second to give the Nittany Lions their first base runner but was gunned down at second trying to steal to end the inning.
Penn State threatened in the bottom of the third after a walk by Lilia Crouthamel and a single by Michelle Leone put runners at first and third with two outs but the blue and white came up short after a groundout by infielder Emily Maddock.
After the Hawkeyes were shut down in order in the top of the fourth, Lexie Black hit a one-out single for the Nittany Lions as they tried to push across their first run. After Kaitlyn Morrison struck out, Black was thrown out trying to get back to second by Iowa catcher Lindy Milkowski.
Oatley remained strong and got Penn State to the bottom of the seventh, where it looked to put an end to the game but was unsuccessful even after two-out singles from Lauren Marcotte and Dani Fey gave Penn State life.
Junior Bailey Parshall took over for Oatley as the game headed to extra innings but wasn’t able to build off Oatley’s performance.
With a runner on second to start the inning, the Hawkeyes took advantage. The runner from second reached third on a wild pitch and after Parshall issued a walk, Iowa’s Brylee Klosterman singled to give Iowa a 1-0 lead.
A bunt loaded the bases for Iowa and an error by Parshall allowed another run to score to make it 2-0 Hawkeyes.
Penn State looked to manage a comeback effort in the bottom of the eighth but was ultimately unsuccessful and gave Iowa the sweep.
Strong outing by Oatley
Coming into Friday’s game against the Hawkeyes, Oatley had posted a 2.17 ERA in four appearances thus far this season.
The sophomore’s strong start to the season continued as she allowed just two hits through the first five innings and stranded two runners at second.
Oatley posted 1-2-3 innings in the first, fourth and fifth as she remained consistent throughout the day.
Through the help of some strong defense, Oatley was able to keep pitch count in check after back-to-back impressive stops at shortstop by Kaitlyn Morrison ended the fifth inning.
Oatley ended the day with seven scoreless innings as she allowed just four hits, no walks and racked up three strikeouts.
Bats quiet all around
Both teams struggled to get into rhythm offensively, as the game went to the sixth inning at a scoreless tie.
Penn State left runners at first and third in the bottom of the third but was unable to get a run on the board.
Through the first six innings, the Nittany Lions had just two hits by Leone and Black.
Meanwhile, the Hawkeyes weren’t lighting up the scoreboard either after mustering just three hits through the first six innings.
The run support was not there for either pitcher after seven frames, which forced extra innings.
To extra innings… again
Extra innings against Iowa in Leesburg — sound familiar?
Well, it was a similar outcome as Thursday’s 12-inning game with the Nittany Lions dropping another one just a day later.
The runner on second to start the inning proved vital for the Hawkeyes, as it gave them the edge they needed to squeeze out two runs. For the blue and white, there wasn’t as much value in the runner on second, as the furthest she ever got was third base.
Crowell’s team will look to regroup as they’ll take on an Illinois team that is 7-1 on Saturday and Sunday.
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