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No. 22 Michigan Sweeps Penn State Softball

Penn State softball (23-29, 6-14 Big Ten) was swept in its series against No. 22 Michigan, which holds a 32-game winning streak against the Nittany Lions dating back to 2007.

The Wolverines (37-11, 19-1 Big Ten) were tested in the opener, but rolled in the next two games to earn their fifth Big Ten sweep of the season.

How It Happened

Game One

The Wolverines jumped on the board first with two unearned runs off a pair of hits and errors in the third, but Penn State rallied to take a 3-2 lead in the fifth with home runs from Dani Fey and Toni Polk.

Michigan left fielder Lexie Blair put the Wolverines ahead again by driving in three runs off hits in the fifth and sixth inning.

Down to their final out with a runner on third, the Nittany Lions were given life with a game-tying home run from Claire Bisi to force the Wolverines to come up again in the bottom half of the seventh.

It wouldn’t take long for Michigan to end it, though, with lead-off batter Madison Uden hitting a walk-off home run to take the game, 6-5.

Game Two

Penn State starting pitcher Hannah Shields couldn’t get an out and was pulled after the Wolverines put up three runs against her. Michigan would put the game in mercy rule territory, tacking on a run in the second off a sacrifice fly, then scoring four in the fourth inning off just one hit, one error, and three walks.

Toni Polk started the game with a leadoff single for the Nittany Lions, but Michigan pitcher Alex Storaco was perfect the rest of the way — retiring the next 15 batters and striking out nine to put the run-rule into effect, 8-0 after five innings.

Game Three

Alex Storaco continued to stifle the Nittany Lions from the circle, retiring 15 of the first 17 batters she faced and striking out 10 in her three-hit, six-inning effort.

Penn State starting pitcher Bailey Parshall limited Michigan to two runs through three innings, but things went south in the fourth as the Wolverines used a two-out rally to put up four runs, including a Lou Allan pinch-hit home run, to put this game out of reach.

The Wolverines would score once more in the fifth inning, and Claire Bisi and Toni Polk broke up the shutout with RBIs in the sixth and seventh to close out a 7-2 Michigan win.


  • Penn State is usually good for one close game a year against Michigan, but this is the first time in recent years that it was propelled by the bats. The Nittany Lion offense knocked three home runs to tie Michigan ace Meghan Beaubien’s season-high in earned runs in a game.
  • Even if he Nittany Lions were to get swept next weekend against Indiana, the only way they wouldn’t make the Big Ten tournament is if two of these things happen: Maryland sweeps No. 22 Michigan; Michigan State sweeps Rutgers; Iowa wins series against Ohio State.
  • Alternatively, the Nittany Lions can jump as high as No. 7 in the conference tournament with a sweep against Indiana. A series win will put Penn State no lower than No. 10, while even a series defeat will likely land the Nittany Lions at No. 11.

What’s Next

Penn State closes out its regular season slate at home with a three-game set next weekend against Indiana. First pitch is at 6 p.m. on Friday, 3 p.m. on Saturday, and 1 p.m. on Sunday. All three games will be streamed live on BTN Plus.

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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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