Penn State Softball vs. Rutgers, Parshall

Pitcher Bailey Parshall (1) warms up during Penn State Softball's double header against Rutgers on Saturday, April 10th at Beard Field in University Park, Pa.  The Nittany Lions won the first game 4-2 and the second 4-3 against the Scarlet Knights.  

After a winless doubleheader Friday that included a loss by 10 runs, Penn State entered Saturday in search of better fortune.

Facing Maryland on the road, the Nittany Lions emerged victorious in a tight 1-0 contest.

The blue and white got off to a solid start, with Kennedy Legg singling to left center. However, a double play from the Terrapins’ defense ended the inning shortly after.

Maryland then nearly scored in its first offensive opportunity, with Ruby Butler singling and advancing to third, but the third out came before she could come across.

After a scoreless second inning, Lilia Crothamel would draw a walk to get on base for Penn State in the third and advance to second via a sac bunt. However, another double play would bring the half inning to a close.

The first score came from Penn State in the fourth frame when a single from Chelsea Bisi batted in pinch runner Kailee Smith to give the blue and white a one run lead.

Two more scoreless innings followed, thanks to a stout defensive effort from Penn State. Ally Kurland gave the offense another hit in the seventh, but the lead stayed at one, setting the stage for Maryland’s last opportunity.

The defense then ended the game with authority, getting the three outs in as many batters.

As a result, Clarisa Crowell’s bunch is now 5-21 on the season entering Sunday’s series finale.

Here are some takeaways from the afternoon.

Offense comes through at right time

Although it only recorded two hits, Penn State’s offense did just enough to capture the win. Bisi’s single came at an opportune time, allowing the Nittany Lions to only have to hold their lead for three innings.

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The blue and white’s three hits matched Maryland’s and showed it is capable of staying with the Terrapins if it delivers a complete performance. With one game left in the series, an even greater offensive effort could bode well in accomplishing a series split.

Stout defensive day for Penn State

After a forgettable 11-1 defeat in Friday’s second leg, the shutout dealt by Penn State’s defense and pitching staff was a fine bounce back effort.

It resembled the form that kept the blue and white in the first leg, when the eventual game-winning run was not scored until the sixth inning.

Saturday’s game was also error-free, an improvement on the three committed in Friday’s first game, and reminiscent of the success from the Rutgers series.

The effort, combined with the sole run, was necessary for the blue and white to get back into the win column.

Should a similar defensive effort come with an even stronger offensive day Sunday, the Nittany Lions could be looking at back-to-back victories.

Composed day for pitching

In the circle for Penn State was Vanessa Oatley, who stayed there throughout the game’s first four innings.

Despite not recording a strikeout, she did what she had to, allowing no Maryland runs off the three hits she allowed.

Bailey Parshall entered the game in the fifth inning, and made quick work of the Terrapins, sealing the deal with three straight 1-2-3 innings.

Parshall’s effort included a single strikeout, enough to move her into a tie for sixth all-time for Penn State softball pitchers with 388.

With the pitching corps entering the game with a combined 4.13 ERA, the shutout was a needed performance.

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