Softball Starts Big Ten Season 3-0 After Sweeping Rutgers
Penn State (14-14, 3-0 Big Ten) kicked off the Big Ten slate of its schedule over the weekend at the RU Softball Complex with a sweep against the Scarlet Knights. Rutgers (15-19, 0-3 Big Ten) came into the series winning seven of its last nine, but had no answers for the power-hitting Nittany Lions.
How It Happened
The two teams opened the series with a slugfest on Friday. Penn State took an early lead after Macy Jones homered in the first at-bat of the game. The Nittany Lions continued to break open the lead, scoring six runs in the first four innings before Rutgers finally answered in the bottom of the fourth. Penn State looked like it had the game sealed the top of the seventh inning after a four-run outburst gave the team a nine run lead, but Rutgers rallied to cut the deficit to four. The Nittany Lions held on after a pitching change to win 12-8.
Rutgers and Penn State took the field again Saturday afternoon for what turned out to be a pitching duel. Lexi Knief gave Penn State the lead in the first inning with a single up the middle and Rutgers answered back in the second inning. Neither team could break the deadlock until Penn State’s huge ninth inning. Four straight singles and back-to-back walks allowed the Nittany Lions to take a 4-1 lead that they held on to for the win.
Penn State entered the final game on Sunday looking for the sweep. This one wouldn’t need nine innings like the previous matchup did. It didn’t even need to go the full seven innings for the Nittany Lions to get their fourth straight win. Shelby Miller broke open the scoring in the first inning with a home run to give Penn State a 2-0 lead. A two-out rally in the second inning where Penn State went through the entire order gave the Nittany Lions a 7-0 lead. Penn State tacked on five more runs in the next three innings and won by way of mercy rule 12-1.
Player Of The Series
Shelby Miller | Junior | Third Base
It was a power hitting weekend for the Nittany Lions and Miller lead the way on that front. The junior third baseman knocked in six runs off six hits — two of which were home runs.
Penn State will be back in action at the Nittany Lion Softball Park next weekend against Michigan State. The series kicks off April 1 at 6 p.m. It continues April 2 at 3 p.m. live on BTN and concludes April 3 at 1 p.m.