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Penn State Softball Aims For A Strong Start To 2022 Season

This week, Penn State softball is back and hoping to start off the 2022 season strong. The Nittany Lions will travel to Florida to play their first game on Friday, February 11, against No. 11 Missouri.

This will be the first time in two years that Penn State softball travels to face a non-conference opponent. Along with an already-tough Big Ten schedule, 33 games of Penn State’s 56-game schedule will be against teams outside of Penn State’s conference.

“We are definitely looking forward to the opportunity to play in preseason tournaments and also playing non-conference opponents.” second-year head coach Clarisa Crowell said on Tuesday. “I can assure you that our team is looking forward to getting down south to play in some warm weather.”

Last season, Crowell led the team to an overall disappointing 7-34 record. However, 11 of the Nittany Lions’ 41 games were lost by just one run, and the head coach says she’s already seeing improvements in this year’s squad.

“I have been very pleased with our team as a whole this year,” Crowell said. “They have worked really, really hard on a daily basis. They come to practice every day, weights and conditioning, and are training at a high level.”

Crowell says the team holds three main pillars of success: “Ohana,” “Blue Collar,” and “Tough.” These attributes are especially prevalent to the returning players who have a year together under their belt with this new coaching staff.

Together, the team has named four captains: Kaitlyn Morrison, Bailey Parshall, Ally Kurland, and Lilia Crouthamel. These four upperclassmen have been chosen to lead this young Penn State team.

“Since the coaches came they have really developed us as leaders and as teammates,” junior shortstop Kaitlyn Morrison said this week. “It’s more of a sisterhood now for us, and we are all really close as opposed to freshman year.”

Crowell also talked very highly of her four captains and noted that they’ve worked hard to lead a team relying on young, unproven talent.

“They have done a really good job of leading our team this year and I think you definitely need to have that leadership within your team,” she said.

This leadership comes at a much-needed time, especially when considering that Penn State’s senior class is the only group of players who have played a full regular season since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Last season didn’t go the way we wanted it to, but in the game of softball, you fail a lot more times than you succeed,” Morrison said. “I think last year shaped us to not have that fear anymore and going into this season we have learned so much from last year and we know what is expected.”

Following Friday’s debut, the Nittany Lions will stay in Leesburg, Florida to face Eastern Kentucky, UConn, Pitt, and Akron before heading back to State College.

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About the Author

Mara McKeon

Mara is a sophomore staff writer majoring in English and public relations. She loves all things sports and anything that has peanut butter. You can usually find her obsessing over country music and counting down the days until she gets to see Luke Combs at the Linc. Feel free to reach her on Twitter @MckeonMara, and for more formal affairs, her email is mom5944@psu.edu.

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