Penn State Softball Splits Doubleheader With No. 25 Ohio State
Penn State (16-22, 4-7 Big Ten) earned an impressive win in the opener of a doubleheader against No. 25 Ohio State, but followed it up with a 10-7 loss to the Buckeyes.
Ohio State (24-10, 8-3 Big Ten) has a powerful batting order, but didn’t manage to do much against senior pitcher Marlaina Laubach. Its bats finally woke up in the second game and the deficit was too much for the Nittany Lions to overcome despite a late charge.
How It Happened
Going against Shelby Hursh, the pitcher that no-hit Penn State in its meeting with the Buckeyes last year, the bottom of the Nittany Lions’ order surprisingly had success against the 9-3 senior. Loading the bases in the bottom of the third only to have Hursh force clean-up hitter Shelby Miller into a pop out, Penn State finally got on the board in the fourth as the ninth batter in the order Destiny Weber laced a double off the top of the left field wall to score two runs.
— Penn State Softball (@PennStateSB) April 12, 2017
The Buckeyes, who have six in their lineup batting over .300 and none lower than .250, put runners in scoring position, but Penn State’s Laubach was there to get out of the jam each time — keeping Ohio State off the board through six innings. The visitors put a run on the board in the top of the seventh, but Laubach forced a ground out with the tying run waiting on third to secure a 2-1 win for the Nittany Lions.
In the second game, Ohio State wasted no time jumping out to a big lead — scoring five runs off four hits in the first inning and forcing starting pitcher Madey Smith from the game. Penn State had its opportunities, but couldn’t capitalize as it was 2-7 with runners in scoring position through the first two innings and left five runners on base in the process.
On the flip side, Ohio State was 7-11 with runners in scoring position through three innings and jumped out to a 9-2 lead. Penn State managed to make it interesting in the sixth as Miller got her third opportunity of the day with the bases loaded, and finally rocked one into the gap to score a pair. Kristina Brackpool knocked in another run and Toni Polk tacked on a run in the seventh, but that’s as close as the Nittany Lions would get in a 10-7 loss.
Player Of The Series
Destiny Weber | Catcher | Freshman
Penn State’s struggled to get crucial hits with runners in scoring position, but Weber — the last batter in the starting order who came in hitting .167 — had the biggest hit of the day for Penn State’s only runs in the win over the Buckeyes.
Penn State travels to Nebraska for a three-game set over the weekend. The series kicks off Friday at 6:30 p.m. on BTN Plus. The series continues Saturday at 4 p.m. and then again on BTN Plus Sunday at 1 p.m.