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Penn State Softball Registers Mixed Results At Season-Opening FGCU Tournament

Penn State softball (1-4) came out and won its opening game by mercy rule before hanging around with Florida Gulf Coast, which is currently sitting just outside the top 25. But the bats disappeared in the final three games as the Nittany Lions struggled with MAC favorites Ball State and Kent State.

How It Happened

Game One vs. Ball State

Penn State got things started with a six-inning, run-rule victory — its first win by mercy rule since March 2017.

The Nittany Lions played two freshman in the circle, with Kylee Lingenfelter getting the start. Bailey Parshall made her collegiate debut following a two-run home run in the second, and what a performance she turned in. The Belle Vernon, PA, native didn’t give up a single hit, retiring 13 of the 14 batters she faced and striking out eight in a little more than four innings of work.

The offense fired just as Parshall did. Senior designated hitter Tori Dubois led by going 3-4 with three RBIs and the Nittany Lions tallied 12 hits in the outing. An Amanda Grieco single in the sixth capped off a three-run inning to secure the 10-2 run-rule win.

Game Two vs. Florida Gulf Coast

Penn State once again got off to a quick start in Friday’s second matchup — with freshman third baseman Chelsea Bisi knocking a two-out RBI single into right field to make it 1-0 in the first inning. That would be the only time a Nittany Lion crossed home plate in the game.

This matchup also saw newcomers tossing from the circle for Penn State. Junior transfer Hannah Shields made her team debut, taking the start and putting in four innings of work. She gave up just one run on a SAC fly following a Marcella Parrado triple in the second.

Bailey Parshall made her second appearance in relief — striking out five in her two innings of work. But another triple from Parrado in the fifth did enough damage, allowing Farley Callaghan to pick up her second RBI on the day via suicide squeeze. That’s all FGCU needed to pick up a 2-1 win.

Game Three vs. Kent State

Saturday’s opener was a disaster from the start for the Nittany Lions. Kylee Lingenfelter got the start, but didn’t make it out of the first inning after giving up six runs — none of which were earned because of an error to open the inning — off four hits and a grand slam from Hunter Brancifort.

Madison Shaffer and Hannah Shields provided the next three innings of work in the circle, giving up five runs. Penn State had just one hit as it was defeated by run rule, 11-0, after five innings.

Game Four vs. Ball State

The pitching performance was significantly better for the Nittany Lions, but the bats were just as quiet in the second Saturday game.

Bailey Parshall got her first start after two appearances this weekend in relief. She pitched a complete seven innings, giving up five hits and striking out six. She gave up the lone run of the game, a home run off the bat of Janae Hogg, in the sixth inning.

Penn State’s offense tallied just three hits as it was shut out for the second-straight game, falling to the Cardinals, 1-0.

Game Five vs. Kent State

Penn State jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning of Sunday’s game thanks to hits from Amanda Grieco and Tori Dubois, but the Nittany Lions would only tally two more hits the rest of the way as the Golden Flashes pitching duo of Madi Huck and Andrea Scali kept them at bay.

Bailey Parshall made her fourth appearance of the weekend, pitching a solid three innings from the start. However, a poor fourth inning did in the Nittany Lions. Kent State tallied seven runs off six hits and tacked more more runs on in the fifth to ease into a 9-2 win.

Takeaways

  • Coach Lehotak wasn’t kidding about using the team’s speed and playing aggressive. Right from the opening game, Penn State made its opponents make plays to get them out of the inning, initiating everything from double steals to pushing runners for extra bases.
  • Freshman Bailey Parshall took the bulk of the innings on the weekend — pitching almost 17 of the team’s 30 innings on the weekend. Take out the final inning against Kent State, and she had a 1.12 ERA and 20 strikeouts on the weekend.
  • Tori Dubois led off in the opening three games, but moved to third in the order for the final two games. If Penn State can get its leadoff runners on like it did in the first inning of the final game, Dubois can come up clutch.

What’s Next

Penn State will enter the ACC-Big Ten Challenge next weekend — heading to Durham, NC for a four-game set against Syracuse and Duke.

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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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