Penn State Softball Can’t Pick Up Win Against Ohio State In First Home Series Of Season
Penn State softball (1-18) was unable to squeak out a win during its three-game series against Ohio State (12-7) this past weekend.
The Nittany Lion came close in game one, but were blown out in games two and three before the final game was canceled.
Maggie Finnegan, Mel Coombs, Melina Livingston and Chelsea Bisi were the only sources of offense for the Nittany Lions throughout the weekend, and the pitching staff continued to struggle outside of a complete game from Bailey Parshall in game one. Other than those performances, the Nittany Lions struggled to remain competitive.
The first game of the Saturday doubleheader didn’t go Penn State’s way, as it fell to Ohio State 2-1.
Bailey Parshall got the start in the circle, and she pitched a complete game. She would give up two runs and strike out five. The defense behind her didn’t do her any favors, however, as it gave up two errors.
The same offensive struggles hindered the Nittany Lions. Maggie Finnegan had the first hit of the game in the sixth inning, and Mel Coombs hit a solo home run in the seventh. It was her second straight game with a homer.
The second game of the doubleheader ended in the same way the first did: with a Penn State loss. The Nittany Lions lost to the Buckeyes 9-3.
Despite the loss, it was one of the better games on the offensive side of the ball. Melina Livingston had two hits, including a solo home run, while Finnegan extended her hitting streak to six games. Kaitlyn Morrison was also able get two hits and drive in a run.
Kylee Lingenfelter got the start, but she only pitched two innings. She gave up two runs, which were both solo home runs, and struck out one. Vanessa Oatley came in for relief, pitching five innings, giving up seven runs and striking out two.
The third game of the series was not a pretty one for the Nittany Lions. They would fall to the Buckeyes 9-0 in five innings.
Parshall started in the circle again after pitching seven innings the game before, and it seemed like the fatigue set in. She only pitched two innings, gave up five runs, and struck out one. Logan Black came on in relief, and she would pitch three innings, give up four runs, and strike out two.
The offense was also not there, with as the Nittany Lions put up just two hits. Chelsea Bisi hit a double, and Coombs was also able to get on base. The lack of offense really killed any chance the Nittany Lions had at getting back into this game.
Game four was canceled due to “an abundance of caution for the health and safety of the student-athletes, coaches, and staff,” according to Penn State Athletics. The game will not be rescheduled.
- It seems like some players’ bats are heating up as the season progresses. Maggie Finnegan and Mel Coombs have both been hitting better, and Chelsea Bisi, Kaitlyn Morrison, and Melina Livingston are returning to their previous hitting selves. If this continues, Penn State may be able to become more competitive in future games.
- This team relies too much on Bailey Parshall. The Nittany Lions are clearly struggling to win games with their bats and the rest of the pitchers are too inconsistent to be counted on. That means Clarisa Crowell has to rely on Parshall to not get Penn State in a hole, which is exactly what happened in game three. Maybe this is an issue that will fix itself over time, but time is running out.
- Despite the circumstances for the final game being cancelled, it may be a blessing in disguise for Penn State. If the Nittany Lions take some time to readjust and focus on getting back to the basics of hitting and fielding, they may be able to steal a win against Rutgers. Having an extra day of rest isn’t the worst thing in the world for this team.
The Nittany Lions will stay at home for another four-game series against Rutgers. The series will begin at 5 p.m. on Friday, April 9.
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About the Author
Penn State most recently put together a 41-13 victory over Northwestern on Saturday in Evanston, highlighted by a 17-point third quarter.
After picking up a draw against Michigan on Thursday, the Nittany Lions came out hungry against the Spartans and converted a goal in the first six minutes of play.
Despite ultimately defeating the Wildcats in a blowout, the Nittany Lions were trapped in a shootout in the first half.