Penn State Softball No Match For Saint Francis In Doubleheader
Penn State softball (7-32, 3-11 Big Ten) continued its struggles this season as it was swept again — this time dropping both in a doubleheader at Nittany Lion Softball Park against Saint Francis.
The Red Flash (26-17, 6-0 NEC) graduated its two aces from a year ago — Ketarah DeVries and Ethel Santai — but still was more dominant in the pitching circle with sophomore Abby Trahan as it went on to win the opener, 8-2, before mercy ruling the Nittany Lions in the second game, 9-1 after five innings.
How It Happened
Penn State got on the board in the first inning with some little league ball — using runners on the corners to its advantage by stealing second base, then having Tori Dubois steal home for the first run.
That’s the last lead the Nittany Lions would see in this one. Penn State starting pitcher Madey Smith was replaced in the second after walking runners on first and second. Jessica Cummings came on and loaded the bases, but after getting an out, her pitch to Cheyenne McKee was rocked over the left field wall. The Red Flash crowded the home-run hitter at the plate with its Miami Hurricanes turnover chain knock off, celebrating the 4-1 lead.
Saint Francis continued the onslaught with two runs off two hits and an error in the third inning before the home run chain made another appearance following a two-run blast over the right field wall from Hayley Norton in the sixth.
Haley Vallejos helped tack on a run for the Nittany Lions with a sac fly in the sixth, but it wasn’t enough as Penn State, despite tallying just as many hits as the Red Flash, fell 8-2.
After a clean first inning, Penn State starter Madison Shaffer conceded three runs off two hits and an error in the second. The Nittany Lions struck back in the bottom of the inning with a solo home run from Kennedy Legg.
Kennedy Legg opens up the second inning with a BIG fly to right! pic.twitter.com/bDYYAmJcDL
— Penn State Softball (@PennStateSB) April 19, 2018
After Saint Francis tacked on a run in the third inning, it batted through the order in the fourth inning — scoring five runs off five hits to win via mercy rule with a 9-1 lead after five innings.
Player of the Series
Abby Trahan | Pitcher | Sophomore
The Red Flash ace pitched two complete games and held the Nittany Lions to just three runs despite 11 hits en route to the easy sweep.
The Nittany Lions head to Bloomington this weekend to continue conference play against Indiana (18-25, 10-2 Big Ten). Action gets underway Friday at 6 p.m., with two additional games Saturday at 1 p.m. and Sunday at noon. The entire series can be seen live on BTN Plus.