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Penn State Softball Caps Successful Spring Break With USF Tournament Sweep

Penn State softball (13-12) cruised through the USF-Clearwater Parks and Recreation Showcase Tournament — winning each of the team’s five games against a slew of mid-majors.

The Nittany Lions were in control for most of the weekend, but managed to make the sweep possible thanks to a seventh-inning comeback against South Dakota State early in the weekend.

How It Happened

Game One vs. Holy Cross

Backed by a pitching gem from freshman Kylee Lingenfelter, in which she gave up a run and four hits in four innings of work, the Nittany Lions took the Crusaders to the woodshed — run-ruling them in five innings.

Chelsea Bisi hit a solo home run, while the left side of the infield Haley Vallejos and Melina Livingston each tallied three RBIs to help put 11 runs on the board for Penn State. Madey Smith came on to close out the 11-3 win in the fifth.

Game Two vs. South Dakota State

Penn State jumped out to a 2-1 first inning lead over the Jackrabbits, who came into the matchup on a 10-game winning streak, but freshman pitcher Bailey Parshall struggled to keep South Dakota State at bay — giving up an additional three runs and 10 hits in the game.

The Nittany Lions trailed by two runs heading into the seventh, but rallied with hits by Melina Livingston, Toni Polk, and Chelsea Bisi to tie the game. Ally Kurland singled with two outs to drive in the winning run in walk-off fashion for a 5-4 Penn State win.

Game Three vs. Central Michigan

The Nittany Lions took down Central Michigan for the second time on this spring break trip, using a two-hit complete game from junior transfer Hannah Shields to earn herself the first win for her in a Penn State jersey.

Toni Polk gave Penn State the lead with an RBI single in the third inning before Destiny Weber put the Nittany Lions safely in the lead with a two-run homer. Shields gave up a solo shot in the seventh, but closed out the 3-1 Penn State win.

Game Four vs. St. Joseph’s

The freshmen pitching duo of Kylee Lingenfelter and Bailey Parshall combined for a three-hit shutout to propel Penn State to its fifth-straight win.

Chelsea Bisi led the way with a two-run homer and RBI single, while Anna Deshaies and Meghan Williams also added RBIs in the 6-0 win for the Nittany Lions.

Game Five vs. Toledo

Bailey Parshall and Kylee Lingenfelter once again combined to pull off the sweep at the USF tournament. Each pitcher gave up a solo home run, but the Nittany Lions backed them up with eight runs off eight hits.

After the Rockets tied the game in the top of the fifth, Ally Kurland came up with a bases-clearing double to tack on three runs in the bottom of the inning before hits from Melina Livingston and Jade Williams added another trio of runs in the sixth. Penn State held off Toledo the rest of the way, winning the final game 8-2.

Takeaways

  • The spring break trip pushed the Nittany Lions above .500 thanks to 10 wins in 12 games. The pitching has continued to be successful with the freshmen duo hovering around a 2.00 ERA. However, the batting order stepped up in this stretch, averaging more than eight hits per game in the last 12 games and having a team batting average above .300 in nine of those games, including each game during the USF tournament.
  • Two-time All-Big Ten outfielder and star slugger Tori Dubois exited during the second game against South Dakota State. She did not return for the rest of the tournament. Unfortunately, we’re not down in Clearwater, so it’s not clear if there’s an issue with an injury or if something else happened.
  • Freshman Chelsea Bisi began her career batting 1-24 to start the season. She found her groove in Florida, starting a six-game hitting streak and batting .636 (7-11) with seven RBIs during this weekend’s tournament.

What’s Next

Penn State will return from Florida for its home opener Wednesday, March 20 against Robert Morris. The doubleheader at the Nittany Lion Softball Park starts at 5 p.m. and you can watch it live on LionVision.

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About the Author

Steve Connelly

Steve Connelly is a senior majoring in PR and an editor for Onward State. He is a proud native of the state of New Jersey, and yes, he is literal trash. He is a soccer fan, nap enthusiast, and chicken tender connoisseur. He tries to be a photographer sometimes despite one of his photos inspiring the name of his future sports bar, the Blurry Zamboni. You can follow him on Twitter @slc2o (feel free to slide), email him at [email protected], or come say hi to him in his office, the Irving's basement.

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