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Penn State Softball Leaves Weekend With A Series Win

Penn State Softball (8-12) bounced back from last weekends sweep, winning three-of-five games at the I-75 Challenge. The entire pitching staff had a much better performance in the circle, while Destiny Weber and Ally Kurland brought some much needed power to the offensive side.

Game One vs. Georgia State

The first game of the Friday doubleheader was a bounce back performance for the Nittany Lions, as they won the game 3-1.

Sophomore pitcher Bailey Parshall rebounded after her worst weekend of the season with a complete game victory. She struck out eight, gave up four hits, and walked two batters.

On the offensive side, the runs came from a three-run dinger by sophomore catcher Ally Kurland. Sophomore outfielder Claire Swedberg also had a great day, as she had three hits in her three plate appearances.

Game Two vs. Georgia State

Game two of the Friday doubleheader was just as good for the Nittany Lions, as they shutout Georgia State for a 3-0 victory.

Freshman infielder Maggie Finnegan had a career day at the plate. In the first inning, she hit her first career home run, and then in the second inning she had an RBI single to add to it. It wouldn’t have been a game against Georgia State if Ally Kurland didn’t hit a home run. This time it was a solo shot that extended the lead to three.

Freshman pitcher Vanessa Oatley got the start in the circle for this game, and she followed in Parshall’s footsteps by having one heck of a game. Oatley also pitched a complete game, and she gave up five hits while striking out three.

Game Three vs. Georgia Tech

In the first game of the Saturday doubleheader, the Nittany Lions lost a very close game to the Yellow Jackets, falling 3-2. Both runs for Penn State were scored on errors by the opposing team.

Sophomore pitcher Bailey Parshall entered the circle and went six innings, striking out six and giving up all three runs. Despite getting the loss, Parshall pitched very well. The three runs came on a three- run home run, and Georgia Tech only had three hits all game long.

The problem for Penn State was the fact that it couldn’t get any offense going. The Nittany Lions only got two hits all game, even though the team did draw five walks as well. The fact that they were also only able to score runs on errors didn’t help their offensive output either.

Game Four vs. Georgia Tech

Game two of the Saturday doubleheader was much more exciting, as fans were treated to some free softball. The Nittany Lions pulled out the win in 10 innings, getting a 5-3 victory over Georgia Tech.

Sophomore outfielder Melina Livingston had herself a game in the nightcap of the doubleheader. She scored three runs, had two hits — including a solo home run — and two RBIs. Sophomore infielder Claire Swedberg continued to build off recent success, also knocking in a run. Senior first baseman Destiny Weber was the hero of the evening, as she hit her fourth home run of the season, driving in the winning two runs.

Freshman pitcher Vanessa Oatley got the start, and she pitched pretty well. She went four innings, giving up two runs and striking out two. Sophomore Kylee Lingenfelter came on for an inning of relief, only giving up one hit. Parshall came back in, and even though she gave up the tying run in the sixth inning, she pitched five strong innings that allowed the Nittany Lions to get the win.

Game Five vs. Kennesaw State

The only game on Sunday resulted in a loss for the Nittany Lions, as they lost 2-1 in extra innings. It was the second-straight game that went to extra innings for Penn State.

While the offense had seven hits total for the game, the Nittany Lions could only drive in one run. That one run was on a sacrifice fly from sophomore outfielder Lilia Crouthamel. The other sophomore outfielders Melina Livingston and Claire Swedberg got two hits each.

Oatley got the start again, going three innings and giving up one run. Parshall then came in relief, striking out nine but also giving up the walk-off run that gave Kennesaw State the win.

Takeaways

  • This series highlighted players that have not typically stepped up on the offensive side. Besides Destiny Weber, who has consistently been the power in the lineup, there were a bunch of contributors to the offense’s success. Claire Swedberg has been very important in getting on base, and Ally Kurland is starting to heat up swinging the bat as well. If this trend continues, it’ll be a good sign for the team.
  • This was a bounce-back series for the pitching staff. Bailey Parshall had her worst weekend of the season last week, and she was able to come in with three strong performances. Coach Amanda Lehotak also didn’t have to use every pitcher this week, which meant the arms that were used were fresher than last week. It shows a lot of growth that the whole staff was able to put that whole weekend behind them.
  • Getting a winning record for this series is very important for the team’s confidence moving forward. The Nittany Lions weren’t able to get back to .500, but the fact they won the series means they can use that confidence to keep up the momentum for the next one. When on a hot streak, this team can be a dangerous.

What’s Next

The Nittany Lions will travel back to Florida to participate in the Clearwater Spring Break Invitational. Their first game is at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, March 6 against Yale.

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About the Author

Owen Abbey

Owen Abbey is a junior from Annapolis, Maryland, majoring in Secondary Education and minoring in Social Justice in Education. When he is not writing for the blog, he enjoys 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 schoolwork. If you would like to talk about sports or Survivor, the best way to reach out is on Twitter @theowenabbey. All other compliments may be sent to [email protected]

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