Penn State (9-13) had no answers for the potent offense of No. 8 Washington. Outscoring the Nittany Lions 37-2 over the course of three games, the Huskies (19-3) run-ruled Penn State in each contest by the fifth inning.
The bright spot of the trip came in the middle of the sweep with the Nittany Lions grabbing a win over South Dakota (7-12) behind a strong performance by senior pitcher Marlaina Laubach.
How It Happened
Penn State was originally scheduled to play Seattle University in a doubleheader on Wednesday, but a team illness forced the Redhawks to cancel the series. Washington, who the Nittany Lions were slated to play once on Friday, was available for games on Wednesday and Thursday to fill the gap.
The first two pitchers to enter the circle for the Nittany Lions couldn’t slow down the Huskies on Wednesday. Sophomore Madison Seifert got the start and gave up six runs through two innings pitched. Madison Shaffer came on in relief in the third, but didn’t record an out as Washington scored tacked on six more runs before she was replaced by freshman Madey Smith. The Huskies went on to a run-rule win, 13-1 after five innings.
It wasn’t much better Thursday night for Penn State. Washington struck first with a Casey Stangel solo home run, but the Nittany Lions showed some promise in the second, tying it off a Toni Polk single. The Huskies continued to roll through their batting order — producing runs in each of the next four innings to earn another run-rule victory through five innings, 9-1.
Penn State grabbed its first win on the Seattle trip Friday afternoon against South Dakota. With a 2-0 lead through five innings, the Nittany Lions rallied with two outs in the sixth. Penn State made it 3-0 on an error before Rebecca Ziegler’s bases-clearing double put the game out of reach. Laubach pitched a complete game, giving up just two runs in the seventh to secure the 6-2 win.
Laubach was back in the circle for the final game of the week against the Huskies. She lasted until the third inning as the Huskies led 6-0. Cummings replaced her with two outs in the inning and couldn’t get that final out to end it before Washington stretched its lead to 11-0 with a grand slam from Ali Aguilar. The Huskies tacked on four runs with Smith in the circle to complete the run-rule sweep 15-0 in five innings.
Player Of The Series
Rebecca Ziegler | Outfielder | Redshirt Sophomore
Ziegler came up with an important hit with the bases loaded of the lone win during the week to tack on three runs and seal it for the Nittany Lions.
Penn State has its home opener on Wednesday against Saint Francis. The Beard Field doubleheader begins at 5 p.m.