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Penn State Softball Closes Out Season With Win Over No. 23 Minnesota

Penn State softball’s (7-34) season has officially come to an end. While the Nittany Lions lost the overall series against No. 23 Minnesota (29-11) this weekend, they finished the season with a win Sunday afternoon.

Ally Kurland’s bat and a solid pitching performance from Vanessa Oatley led to that victory, but Penn State dropped the first three games against the Golden Gophers.

Game One

Game one was a rough one for the Nittany Lions. The Golden Gophers took care of business with a sound 4-0 victory.

Kylee Lingenfelter got the start, pitching four innings and giving up four runs on five hits. Logan Black stepped in the circle for relief and had one of her best outings of the season. She pitched three innings, only giving up one hit during that stretch.

Offensively, nothing happened. Kennedy Legg was the only one to get a hit throughout the entire game, though Mel Coombs and Dani Fey both drew walks to get on base. Otherwise, there wasn’t much to speak of for Penn State’s bats.

Game Two

The first game of the Saturday doubleheader showed some improvement on the offensive side of the ball, but it still ended with Penn State losing 8-3.

Ally Kurland got the scoring started with a solo home run, but Minnesota quickly countered with five runs of its own in the top of the third. Melina Livingston and Legg had RBI singles as well, but it wasn’t enough to storm back and take the lead.

Black got the start, only going 2.1 innings and giving up four runs on four hits. Vanessa Oatley came on in relief, but she wasn’t able to do any better. She gave up four runs on eight hits, striking out two but walking three.

Game Three

It seemed that fatigue may have set in on the Nittany Lions in the second game of the doubleheader, as they were shut out 10-0.

Lingenfelter went back into the circle, pitching four innings and giving up four runs on three hits. Black, pitching in her third straight game, pitched three innings in which she gave up six runs on four hits. Only three of those runs were earned.

Not much happened on the offensive side. Coombs was able to pull out a double, while Livingston and Kurland each got singles to try and help carry the load offensively. Those were the only hits of the game for Penn State, however.

Game Four

The final game of the season had a happy ending, folks. The Nittany Lions broke their losing streak and were able to pull off the upset, winning 4-1.

Kaitlyn Morrison had an early RBI double to take the lead, and Kurland added on with a two RBI single the following inning. That was enough to keep the lead and hold on to a big victory for the program.

While Black got the start, she only pitched an inning, giving up one run on two hits. Oatley came in and pitched the rest of the game, only giving up three hits and striking out three. It was a good bounce back performance for her after her outing earlier in the series.

Takeaways

  • With how this season has turned out, getting one win against a ranked opponent should be something that is celebrated with this team. The Nittany Lions fought hard and did not give up, even as thing looked dark. That is part of the culture that first-year head coach Clarisa Crowell wanted to establish, and she has done a good job at that.
  • With the season now officially over, this means that Bailey Parshall can officially rest up and recover from any injury she may have suffered during the season. The last few series have shown that this team can’t go that long with only three pitchers, so Penn State can hope she’s able to go by the beginning of next season.
  • The team’s three seniors are leaving a hole that may be hard to fill in next year’s group. Kennedy Legg’s bat was the most powerful in the lineup, and that is something that will be very vital next year. Dani Fey’s leadership is something that went unquestioned throughout the season, so it’ll be important to see who steps up to fill that void. Logan Black is going to leave the pitching staff a little short-handed, so we’ll see if Crowell can recruit some arms to use next season.

What’s Next?

With no Big Ten Tournament this season, the Nittany Lions will rest up and start looking ahead to next season.

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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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