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Penn State Softball Powers Past Maryland

Penn State softball (22-25, 6-11 Big Ten) bounced back after getting swept by Rutgers a week ago, taking two of three in its series on the road at Maryland.

The Terrapins (20-23, 4-11 Big Ten) couldn’t slow down Penn State’s bats, which hit four homers and tallied 25 runs over the weekend.

How It Happened

Game One

The Nittany Lions dominated the Terrapins from the start, scoring a pair of runs in the first from a Destiny Weber RBI single and a sacrifice fly from Ally Kurland, then tacking on one more in the third thanks to an RBI single from Toni Polk.

Penn State took control in the fourth inning, scoring five runs off three hits, including a Delaney Elling home run, and two errors. The Nittany Lions tacked on four more runs in the seventh inning to close out their biggest offensive output of Big Ten play.

Hannah Shields got the start in the circle, giving up just a solo home run in her two innings of work, but Kylee Lingenfelter pitched the majority of the game — throwing five scoreless innings and giving up just two hits to help Penn State earn the 12-1 win.

Game Two

In the second of Saturday’s doubleheader, the Nittany Lions picked up right where they left off in game one, scoring six runs in the opening two innings off five hits, including blasts from home run leaders Toni Polk and Chelsea Bisi.

Freshman pitcher Bailey Parshall replaced starter Madison Shaffer in the third inning after the senior gave up two hits to start the inning, but Parshall couldn’t limit the damage — conceding a walk and a hit to score three Terrapins.

She would bounce back, though, pitching four scoreless innings down the stretch. The Nittany Lions scored three more, including runs off two hits from Melina Livingston to finished with a game-high three RBIs, as Penn State took the 9-3 win.

Game Three

Toni Polk hit her second home run of the weekend to give Penn State a 1-0 lead in the third, but Penn State’s pitching staff struggled in the next two innings with the Terrapin offense, which tallied five runs off six hits and an error.

The Nittany Lions got back into the game thanks to Chelsea Bisi’s three-run shot in the fifth inning, which helped her match Polk with 11 home runs on the season.

The Nittany Lions had a chance in the seventh with runners on second and third for Bisi, but the freshman popped out deep to left field to end the game, 5-4 in favor of the Terrapins.

Takeaways

  • Two-time All-Big Ten slugger Tori Dubois didn’t appear at all in the series. She sustained an injury to her arm that forced her to miss games in March, and she struggled in her return from injury — with her .333 batting average dropping to .273. It’s not clear what kept her out of this weekend’s set of games.
  • The Nittany Lions got the job done when it needed to in a must-win series to make the Big Ten tournament. Penn State has a two-game advantage over the cut line with two series remaining — both against NCAA tournament-positioned teams, No. 22 Michigan and Indiana.
  • Chelsea Bisi and Toni Polk are the first Penn State batters to hit double digit home runs since 2016 when Alyssa VanDerveer and Macy Jones both hit 11 homers. The hitting duo has helped the Nittany Lions smash the team single season home run record, with Penn State hitting 42 this season.

What’s Next

Penn State returns home for its final mid-week doubleheader of the season, taking on Bucknell on Wednesday at Nittany Lion Softball Park. First pitch is at 5 p.m. with the second game 30 minutes following the opener. Both games will be streamed live on BTN Plus.

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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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