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Penn State Softball Dominates ACC-Big Ten Challenge

Penn State (5-4) went on a tear over the weekend at the ACC-Big Ten Challenge against Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech in Atlanta — winning all four games after a tough tournament at LSU the week before. Marlaina Laubach and Madison Seifert each pitched a pair of complete games, including an eight-inning shutout from Laubach to secure a 1-0 extra innings walk-off win.

How It Happened

The Nittany Lions opened the tournament against Georgia Tech on Friday afternoon. Sophomore pitcher Seifert got the start and went the distance against the Yellow Jackets. Her teammates helped her out, building a 3-0 lead through four innings with Mia Monopoli’s two-run single in the second and Toni Polk’s first home run of the season in the fourth. Georgia Tech fought back to make it 3-2 in the seventh, but Seifert got out of a jam to hold on for the win.

After Seifert’s complete game Friday, senior pitcher Laubach stepped into the circle for the first game Saturday with an impressive outing of her own against Virginia Tech. She also went the distance, shutting out the Hokies in an extra-inning showdown. In the bottom of the eighth, a pair of walks and a wild pitch set up Polk just 60 feet from home. A slow infield roller was enough to bring Polk home and secure the walk-off win 1-0.

Laubach stepped back into the circle for the second game on Saturday against Georgia Tech. She managed to go for another complete game, giving up just three runs off eight hits. Sophomore Tori Dubois was the leader of the offensive outbreak for the Nittany Lions. After trailing 2-0 early, Dubois led the charge with a grand slam in the  third inning to help Penn State take over. It managed to add on a couple more runs and grab the win 8-3.

Penn State’s bats continued its hot streak with another double-digit hit outburst Sunday morning against Virginia Tech. Redshirt sophomore Rebecca Ziegler went 3-4 with five RBIs — one of which came on her first career home run. Seifert returned to the circle after a good outing Friday to pitch another complete game, allowing just three hits and one run. Penn State secured another win over the Hokies 7-1.

Player Of The Series

Marlaina Laubach | Pitcher | Senior

Penn State’s pitching has been stellar through two tournaments this season. Laubach pitched both games of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge on Saturday, going the distance in both to secure two wins. The lone shutout so far this season came at an important time as the senior went into extra innings without giving up a run to help the Nittany Lions grab a 1-0 win.

What’s Next

Penn State continues its southern road trips next weekend in South Carolina at the Chanticleer Classic against Coastal Carolina, Campbell, Cleveland State, and Morehead State. The four-game set begins Saturday at 2 p.m. and will wrap up in the early afternoon Sunday.

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About the Author

Steve Connelly

Unfortunately, former editor Steve Connelly has graduated. Where is he now? He might be doing something related to that PR degree he got in 2019. Maybe he finally opened that sports bar named after one of his photos, the Blurry Zamboni. Or he might just be eating chicken tenders and couch surfing. Anything’s possible. If you really want to know, follow him on Twitter @slc2o.

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