Softball Gets Historic Sweep Against Maryland In Front Of Big Crowds
Penn State (24-17, 11-3 Big Ten) welcomed conference foe Maryland to Beard Field for a weekend series. The Terrapins (11-30, 3-9 Big Ten) were coming off their first series win of the season, but the Nittany Lions flipped the narrative. In front of record crowds over Blue-White weekend, the Nittany Lions swept Maryland. This is the first time Penn State has swept three Big Ten schools in a season since moving to the three-game series format.
How It Happened
The Nittany Lions got into a jam in the first inning, but managed to work their way out conceding just one run off a sacrifice fly. Penn State answered back with a sacrifice fly of its own from Shannon Good to tie the score in the second inning. Lexi Knief gave the Nittany Lions the lead in the third inning after she singled with the bases loaded to drive in two runs. Tori Dubois singled to add two more runs to give Penn State a 5-1 lead before the inning ended.
Maryland put another run on the board in the fourth inning after back-to-back doubles. Macy Jones rebuilt the lead in the bottom of the inning with a two-run shot over the center field wall. Two batters later, Shelby Miller also smashed one over the center field wall before Alyssa VanDerveer hit the third home run of the inning to give Penn State a 9-2 lead.
In the fifth inning, Maryland’s Kristina Dillard hit a bases-clearing double to cut Penn State’s lead down to four, then Maryland tacked on another run in the sixth to make the score 9-6. That would be the closest the Terrapins could get as Madison Seifert came in relief for Marlaina Laubach to hold on for the win.
The second game of the series was played in front of Beard Field’s first-ever sellout crowd and the Nittany Lions did not disappoint. VanDerveer knocked over the center field wall her second homerun of the series to put Penn State up 2-0 in the first inning. Hits from Erin Pond and Miller in the third and fourth innings, respectively, knocked in a pair of runs to give Penn State a 4-0 lead.
The combined effort from Jessica Cummings and Seifert in the circle for the Nittany Lions was too much for the Terrapins to deal with. The two pitchers gave up just three hits each to post the shutout for Penn State and give the team the 4-0 win.
Penn State started the final game of the series quickly, taking the lead in the first inning. Knief doubled to allow Jones to score the opening run of the game. Dubois notched another hit to knocked in the second run before a Maryland error allowed the third run of the inning.
Penn State’s nice first inning lead made it look like the Nittany Lions would cruise, but they couldn’t earn another run for the next couple innings. Maryland scored in the third inning and put together a string of hits to tie the game in the fifth inning.
In the sixth inning, Shannon Good came in for her only at-bat to pinch hit and singled up the middle, allowing two runners to score. That’s all Penn State needed as it took down the Terrapins in the top of the seventh to notch the sweep with a 5-3 win.
Player Of The Series
Shannon Good | Senior | Outfield
The veteran came up clutch in a big moment of the final game of the series, knocking in the game-winning runs as a pinch hitter to give the Nittany Lions a historic sweep.
The Nittany Lions travel to Iowa next weekend for a series with the Hawkeyes. The series will start Friday at 7 p.m.