Softball Disperses Saint Francis In Doubleheader
Penn State (28-18, 13-4 Big Ten) hosted St. Francis in its final non-conference game of the regular season. The Red Flash (29-20, 9-1 NEC) were on a five-game winning streak going into the doubleheader, but the Nittany Lions ended that with ease. Penn State shutout Saint Francis in the opening game to win 6-0 before holding on for a 4-2 win in the second game.
How It Happened
Penn State didn’t even need a hit to score a run in the first inning. Following three walks and an error, Penn State took a 1-0 lead. In the third inning, Lexi Knief got the first hit — a triple — for the Nittany Lions. She scored after St. Francis pitcher Ketarah DeVries threw a wild pitch. Erin Pond knocked in Alyssa VanDerveer to increase the Nittany Lions lead to three in the fifth inning.
The Red Flash had trouble putting runs on the board for most of the game. Clutch pitching from Marlaina Laubach and Shelby Miller’s great defensive work often stranded St. Francis runners in scoring position.
Penn State found its bats in the sixth inning. A sacrifice fly from Miller and hits from Macy Jones and Knief drove in three runs to give the Nittany Lions a comfortable lead. Laubach retired the side in the seventh to pitch a complete-game shutout with Penn State taking the 6-0 victory.
It took just one pitch for the Nittany Lions to take the lead in the second game of the doubleheader with Macy Jones hitting a home run over right field the right field wall. Penn State added to its lead in the third inning after Red Flash right fielder misplayed a Knief single, allowing Knief to advance to third and Miller to score. Knief went on to score off a VanDerveer sacrifice fly then VanDerveer knocked in another run with an infield ground out.
Penn State pitcher Madison Seifert had a no-hitter going through four innings. She began to struggle a bit more in the later innings of the game, conceding Penn State’s first runs of the doubleheader off of a two-run home run in the sixth inning. Seifert got out of that inning and held off the Red Flash in the seventh to give Penn State a 4-2 win.
Player Of The Series
Marlaina Laubach | Junior | Pitcher
Laubach threw a complete game shutout in the opener, giving up just five hits in the process. The junior ace looked comfortable in the circle regardless of the situation, which helped get her team out of a jam in a handful of innings.
The Nittany Lions hosts No. 2 Michigan in a three-game series this weekend at Beard Field. First pitch of the series is Friday at 6 p.m.