Softball Team Splits with Illinois
Saturday marked the start of a string of Big Ten Conference games for the softball team, and a new team record. The women traveled to Illinois for games last weekend against the Fighting Illini. They split the series with a victory on Saturday and a loss on Sunday. According to the softball team’s twitter account, Jackie Hill’s victory on Saturday made her Penn State softball’s all time leader in wins. Hill and the team are now in Michigan for their doubleheader today against Michigan State University.
Saturday was Hill’s day. She managed to strike out 10 batters and give up 0 earned runs off of 5 hits. Pitching remains the key ingredient to success for Penn State this year, largely due to Hill’s dominance. The offense has been hit or miss so far, and on this day, they struggled at the plate and totaled only 4 hits. However, they capitalized on Illini errors and a home run by first baseman Kailyn Johnson to score four runs in the third inning. Illinois scored their unearned runs in the first inning, and Hill shut them down the rest of the game as Penn State won the contest 4-2.
The next game was a disaster for the team. For the second day in a row, they failed to tally more than four hits. However, the team missed out on two opportunities to bat due to the mercy rule. The Fighting Illini’s bats were alive, managing 8 hits as they scored 2 runs in the first inning, 5 in the second, and 5 in the fourth. The mercy rule ended the game at 2-12 after Penn State failed to score in the fifth inning.
The team will look to bounce back today and improve on their 17-13 record as they face Michigan State. They’ll bring the games back home this weekend against Indiana.
For team information and game updates, follow the Penn State softball team on Twitter @PSULionSoftball.