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Penn State Softball Remains Winless After Second Weekend In Florida

Following sweeps by Iowa and Illinois, Penn State softball (0-12) remains winless on the season.

The team’s offense was nonexistent, its defense was bad, and, unfortunately, its pitchers could not overcome either of those to try and win the games. Simply put, nothing seems to be clicking.

Game One Vs. Iowa

The first game of Thursday’s doubleheader didn’t work out for the Nittany Lions, who lost to Iowa 5-1.

Junior Kylee Lingenfelter got the start in the circle, but she was able to pitch only three innings. She gave up five hits, three runs, and struck out three batters. Logan Black came in as a relief pitcher for four innings and gave up two runs.

The Nittany Lions were able to get just two hits, both singles. Outfielder Maggie Finnegan drove in the only run of the game on a sacrifice groundout. The real story of the game was the errors again, as Penn State committed three throughout the game.

Game Two Vs. Iowa

The second game of the doubleheader was the most exciting game of the season thus far, but Penn State could not come up clutch to win. It lost 6-5 in 12 innings.

The offense showed a lot of improvement from game one into game two. Dani Fey had a two-RBI single that gave the Nittany Lions the lead early on. In extra innings, they had multiple chances to win, taking the lead three times only to lose the advantage in the bottom of the inning.

Bailey Parshall got the start and pitched all 12 innings. Let me say that again, SHE PITCHED 12 INNINGS! It doesn’t matter how good Parshall is — that is a long time. It doesn’t help that the defense behind her committed four errors. Head coach Clarisa Crowell probably should not be leaving her best pitcher out there for so long.

Game Three Vs. Iowa

Friday’s game against Iowa was very similar to the second game of Thursday’s doubleheader, with Penn State losing in extra innings to Iowa 2-0.

Vanessa Oatley got the start in the circle, going seven innings and striking out three. Parshall was brought in for relief less than 24 hours after she went 12 innings, and she gave up the two runs that led to the loss.

Once again, the offense couldn’t create anything. The best hit came from a Lexie Black double. And just like the last few games, errors killed the team. Add two more blunders to the team’s season total.

Game One Vs. Illinois

The Nittany Lions kicked off the Saturday doubleheader against Illinois with a loss. The team fell to the Fighting Illini 1-0.

The offense was non-existent in this game. None of the batters in the starting lineup got a hit. The only knock came from pinch hitter Ally Kurland in the seventh inning.

Lingenfelter got the start again, and she was really good. She pitched six innings, giving up six hits and striking out four. The only run she gave up came from a Kaitlyn Morrison error. It was easily her best performance of the season.

Game Two Vs. Illinois

The second game of the Saturday doubleheader ended like every other game, with a loss. Penn State lost to Illinois 2-1.

Parshall got the start, pitching all seven innings and striking out seven. She also gave up six hits and both runs. Unfortunately, she has not been the same dominant pitcher that she was last season, although that could also stem from having no support from the offense.

Speaking of offense, it was another one-hit performance for the Nittany Lions. Finnegan was responsible for that single. The only run did not come from her hit, however. It cam from a Michelle Leone sacrifice fly, scoring Fey.

Game Three Vs. Illinois

The final game in Florida ended how all the other games ended: a loss. Penn State couldn’t get the win, losing to Illinois 8-0 in six innings.

The offense was better in this game than the other two against Illinois. Leone and Fey both got singles and Kennedy Legg was able to get a big double, but nothing was able to come from it.

Oatley got the start and went five innings while giving up seven runs. Logan Black would come on in relief, but that would not be enough to save the game for the Nittany Lions.

Despite the game ending the way it did, there was a very good defensive play made by Fey in the outfield. So instead of ending on a negative, here’s one of the few positives from the weekend.

Takeaways

  • This team might be worse defensively this year than it was last year. Errors have been a consistent problem that carried over from one coaching regime to another. These mistakes cost games! Iowa scored a tying run on a strikeout, for example. If the Nittany Lions want to have a shot at winning a game, they need to focus on basic fundamentals.
  • I would like to attribute poor offense to early season rust. But at some point, that can’t be the excuse. It is up to the coaching staff to work on those fundamentals and change things up when it is obviously not working. We will see what adjustments are made.
  • I am the world’s biggest Bailey Parshall fan. I think she is a great pitcher. It hurts me to see her not playing as well as she has in the past. But I can’t put all the blame on her. Head Coach Clarisa Crowell has to know better about having her pitch 12 innings. And then also putting her in during the game the following day? That is an inexcusable decision.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions will take a much-needed break to readjust before traveling to Nebraska for a four-game series beginning on March 26.

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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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