Penn State (12-14) walked away from a series with a winning record for the first time since sweeping the ACC-Big Ten Challenge after taking two from Niagara (7-9) and splitting with George Washington (11-11) over the weekend at the GW Capital Classic in DC.
Freshman pitcher Madey Smith continued her form from the Washington series and grabbed her first win as a starter to help the Nittany Lions inch back toward a .500 record with Big Ten play on the horizon.
How It Happened
The Nittany Lions started the weekend with a rout of Niagara. Penn State scored 13 runs off 14 hits led by senior Shelby Miller, who tallied three hits, including a home run, for four RBIs. Three different pitchers took to the circle for Amanda Lehotak’s team — combining to give up four runs off 10 hits, preserving a 13-4 win for Penn State.
Smith got the start for Saturday’s second game against George Washington and went the distance — surrendering just two runs off three hits in her first complete game. Mia Monopoli had three hits and knocked in the game-winning runs to help give Penn State a 4-2 victory over the Colonials.
Penn State opened on Sunday with a rematch against Niagara and started right where it left off against the Purple Eagles — putting up four runs in the first inning off a Kristina Brackpool three-run shot and a Tori Dubois single. That’s all the Nittany Lions really needed as junior Jessica Cummings and Smith combined in the circle to give up just one run and close out Niagara 7-1.
Penn State took the early lead against George Washington in the final game of the weekend, but couldn’t grab its fourth-straight win as the Colonials tacked on five runs during a two-out rally in the bottom of the fourth to pull away from the Nittany Lions. Penn State wasn’t able to get its bats going with runners on base as it had the rest of the weekend and fell 7-2.
Player Of The Series
Madey Smith | Pitcher | Freshman
Smith factored into two wins over the weekend — recording her first complete game in a tight 4-2 victory over George Washington for the second win of her Penn State career. She also closed out the second game against Niagara without giving up a run in two innings of work.
After rescheduling its home opener last week, Penn State hopes to begin its season at the Nittany Lion Softball Park on Wednesday (it’s supposed to be a high of 30 degrees, so don’t bet on it) in a doubleheader against Robert Morris starting at 5 p.m.
If Wednesday gets rescheduled or canceled, the Nittany Lions next travel to face No. 19 Michigan this weekend (weather also isn’t looking great in Ann Arbor, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯).