Penn State Softball Exchanges Comebacks With Bucknell To Split Doubleheader
Penn State softball (23-26, 6-11 Big Ten) split its last non-conference matchup of the season with Bucknell on Wednesday at Beard Field.
The Bison (26-19, 13-2 Patriot League) came from behind to win the opener, but the Nittany Lions used their own comeback to win the second matchup with a walk-off hit from senior first baseman Meghan Williams.
How It Happened
Bucknell pitcher Lauren Lichtenwalner kept the Nittany Lions at bay for most of the outing, but the Nittany Lions made her work in the third inning with a Toni Polk triple to score a run before the senior center fielder was brought home on a suicide squeeze to make it 2-0.
Penn State starting pitcher Bailey Parshall was successful in the opening innings, but the Bison started to get hits against her later in the outing — using a triple from Halie Mariano and a suicide squeeze to bring her home in the fifth, before Lauren Hadley tied it on a solo home run in the sixth.
Fellow freshman Kylee Lingenfelter came on in relief for Parshall in the seventh after she gave up a leadoff single, but Lingenfelter did herself no favors with a wild pitch and passed ball to start the inning, moving the runner from first to third. The Bison scored on another suicide squeeze and brought in an insurance run off of an error to come back and take the opener, 4-2.
The Nittany Lions jumped out to another 2-0 lead thanks to back-to-back doubles from Claire Bisi and Destiny Weber in the first inning, but the Bison would rally in the next three innings — scoring five runs off seven hits and two errors against starter Hannah Shields, who exited the game after the second, and Madison Shaffer.
Penn State found its bats with five runs in the fourth inning, including a solo homer from Weber and a three-run shot from Toni Polk, her team-leading 12th home run of the season.
The next inning Chelsea Bisi also tallied her 12th homer of the year with a shot over the center field wall. Weber tripled the following at-bat, putting herself a single away from the cycle, but the Nittany Lions couldn’t drive her in.
Bucknell wasn’t done, though. The Bison, trailing by two, put two runners on base and later moved them both into scoring position in the top of the seventh. With two outs, Nicole Rivait drove the runners in to tie the game and force the Nittany Lions to come up in the bottom of the inning.
Weber, with her chance for the cycle, was walked on four pitches. However, the pinch runner that resulted on base from the walk would be the decider. A fielding error and a passed ball helped move Christa Wagner, the winning run, to third base for Meghan Williams, who tallied a single to win the game in walk-off fashion, 9-8.
- Looking through the Penn State softball yearbook, we couldn’t figure if a Penn State player had hit for the cycle before. Considering Destiny Weber had a double, triple, and home run already in the bag and just needed a single, the four-pitch walk on her last at-bat was a bit anti-climatic.
- Before the second game of this Bucknell series, Meghan Williams hadn’t played since March 30 against Wisconsin. Coming in with a .161 batting average, the senior was a magic touch to the lineup, with her 2-4 day that included the walk-off winner. She made a stellar play in the field, as well, snagging a line drive to close out the sixth inning.
The Nittany Lions are back in action this weekend with their toughest series of the year on the road against No. 22 Michigan. First pitch is at 6 p.m. on Friday, 2 p.m. on Saturday, and 1 p.m. on Sunday. All three games will be streamed live on BTN Plus.
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