Penn State Softball Takes Down Rutgers In Blue-White Weekend Clash
Penn State (20-26, 6-11 Big Ten) took two of three from the Scarlet Knights over Blue-White weekend at Beard Field.
Rutgers (12-31, 3-11) blew a pair of leads on Friday, but it was Penn State who struggled in Sunday’s meeting as the Nittany Lions lost their lead in the seventh inning on an error.
How It Happened
In a repeat of the last game in the Bucknell series, Penn State forced its way back from a 5-0 deficit. The Nittany Lions blasted two out of the park in the second and tacked a pair of runs on in the third to take a 6-5 midway through. Madison Shaffer, who replaced starting pitcher Marlaina Laubach after two innings, was solid until getting into a jam in the fifth that would eventually lead to four more runs for the Scarlet Knights.
Madison Seifert came in to pitch during that fifth inning rally, and despite initially struggling in the tough spot, had a solid effort without giving up a run down the stretch. Penn State came back once again with three runs in the sixth to tie it. Without anyone able to tack on a run in the seventh, the game went to extra innings where a Tori Dubois two-run shot over the left field wall won it in walk-off fashion for the Nittany Lions 11-9.
Penn State exhausted its bullpen in the opener on Friday, so Jessica Cummings got her first start of conference play. The junior who’s battled with injuries during her time as a Nittany Lion pitched a complete-game shutout for her third win in the circle this season.
Penn State’s bats clicked from the get-go, driving four runs across the plate in the first inning. The Nittany Lions tallied seven runs total on the day, with a pair of RBIs from Dubois and Brackpool to push Penn State to its fourth-straight win 7-0.
Laubach started her second game of the series on Sunday with troubles similar to her first outing when the first three batters got hits to score a run. She would retire the next three batters she faced and went pretty much untouched through five innings.
Shayna Sweeney got the start for the Scarlet Knights in each of the three games, but much like the first two, got into a jam early and was chased from the game. She gave up just one run after a hit and a couple of walks. Whitney Jones replaced her, but Penn State managed to continue its success inning by inning with a single run going across the board in the second, third, and fifth to make it 4-1 after five.
Rutgers put together a rally in the sixth with three hits including two doubles to score a run. The Scarlet Knights had its opportunity to close the gap, but Rebecca Ziegler threw a runner out at home from center to end the inning. Rutgers finally took the lead when it looked like Penn State had it sealed. Seifert, in relief for Laubach, loaded the bases. With two outs, she forced a pop out, but Dubois dropped it and allowed three runs to score. Rutgers tacked another one on to take the win 6-4.
Player Of The Game
Jessica Cummings | Pitcher | Junior
She hasn’t had the best luck in her time on the team with injuries, but had the best performance of the weekend in the circle when the Penn State pitching staff was in a bind.
Penn State is back for a doubleheader on Wednesday against Saint Francis () with first pitch coming at 5 p.m.