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Newly Found Pitching Depth Sparks Penn State Softball To Early Winning Streak

Penn State softball used a total of five pitchers during all of last season. That meant that if one of those pitchers had an off game or got hurt, head coach Amanda Lehotak would have very little room to maneuver strategy-wise. She relied heavily on freshmen pitchers Bailey Parshall and Kylee Lingenfelter to anchor down the rotation.

Flash forward to this season as Parshall and Lingenfelter, who are now sophomores, continue to be the leaders of the pitching staff. Now, however, they have a lot more support behind them. Junior transfer Logan Black and freshmen Vanessa Oatley have joined the Nittany Lions this season, and both have made a tremendous impact in the early-goings of the season.

“We have a real ace in Bailey Parshall and we feel that we have the most depth in the conference,” Lehotak said. “Some of our pitchers could be an ace on many staffs and we have a lot of number twos. We just have a lot of different looks.”

Logan Black, for example, had a great debut against Michigan State in the Felsburg Invitational. She only gave up one hit in five innings of work as the Nittany Lions mercy-ruled the Spartans to get their third win of the season.

“[Black] is a high velo-kid, hitting 67, 68 [mph] consistently,” Lehotak said. She also had high praise for Parshall and senior Hannah Shields and their pitching styles, even though the latter has not pitched yet this season.

With Shields and fellow senior Madey Smith having yet to enter the circle, the Nittany Lions have a lot of healthy arms to move through the season. Parshall pitched the most during the first tournament of the year, while Oatley was second. Fortunately, if Lehotak wants to use all six pitchers she has at her disposal, she is quickly able to do so, as no one pitcher was overloaded during the first five games of the season.

“Our pitching depth has been something we have been trying to build for a while now,” Lehotak said. “It’s vital to a long season and its success. I am happy with where they are at. They’re right where they need to be and they’re a lot of fun to watch.”

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About the Author

Owen Abbey

Owen Abbey was a Secondary Education major before he graduated from the wonderful institution known as Penn State. When he was not writing for the blog, he enjoyed rooting for the Baltimore Orioles and Ravens, supporting Penn State basketball and softball, dreaming of all of the ways he would win the TV show "Survivor," and yes mom, actually doing school work. All of this work prepared him to teach his own class of students, which was always his true passion. He still can be found on Twitter @theowenabbey and can be reached for questions and comments at [email protected]

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