Clutch Hitting Brings the Softball Team Success
There was something much sweeter about opening the Nittany Lion Softball Park in a game against a Big Ten rival. The team was scheduled to debut the park against Buffalo on Thursday, but thanks to some Pennsylvania weather, the game was postponed until April. Instead, Beard Field’s inaugural game was to be against Wisconsin.
If ever there was an event that demanded success, this was it. A home opener and a stadium inauguration all in one. Losing just didn’t seem an option, and judging by the result, the team felt the same way.
On Saturday, the Nittany Lion’s turned on the offense to defeat Wisconsin 8-5. The team earned their runs off of nine hits with Cassidy Bell, Lisa Akamine, and Alyssa Sovereign each tallying two. Jackie Hill pitched the first 3.1 innings, holding Wisconsin to four earned runs. Akamine relieved Hill in the fourth inning, shutting down the Badgers and giving up no earned runs.
Sunday’s game was no less exciting, despite having much less offense. Largely a pitching duel between Penn State’s duo of Akamine and Hill and Wisconsin’s Cassandra Darrah, the game extended into the eighth inning. Down two runs in the bottom of the eighth, the team was able to rally back, with Sovereign driving a walk off RBI single.
Yesterday, the Nittany Lions traveled to compete against in state rivals Pittsburgh, splitting the double header. Both games were low scoring and dominated by defense. Penn State lost the first game 2-1, but were able to shut out the Panthers 2-0 in the second game due to a phenomenal twelve strikeout performance from Hill.
This week’s set of games brought the team to a record of 16-12, and this weekend marks a run of Big Ten Conference games against Illinois, Michigan State, and Indiana.
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