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Penn State Softball Begins 2022 Season With A Winning Record

Penn State softball (3-2) opened its season with an up-and-down weekend in Florida.

The Nittany Lions had a chance to pull off a historic upset, big wins, and heartbreaking losses. However, at the end of the day, the team showed enough improvement to suggest last season’s 7-34 record may have been a fluke.

Game One vs. No. 11 Missouri

The first game of the season ended in heartbreak for the Nittany Lions. They took the top-15 Tigers into extra innings but still lost 2-1.

Bailey Parshall stepped into the circle for her season debut, and she was electric. She pitched seven innings and struck out 10 batters while giving up just four hits. She also notched her 400th career strikeout.

Kylee Lingenfelter entered in relief, but she gave up both runs in the bottom of the eighth inning.

The offense continued its struggles but was still able to get one run across on a Lauren Marcotte single. Ally Kurland hit a double and Mel Coombs got a hit as well, but that was the only offense that Penn State could muster up.

Game Two vs. Eastern Kentucky

The first game of the Saturday doubleheader was a bounce-back win for the Nittany Lions, who shut out the Colonels 4-0.

Penn State’s offense was much better in this game, though only two of the runs scored came from a hit. Kentucky transfer Cassie Lindmark drove in those two runs on a single. The other two runs came from a Liana Jones sac-fly and an error that allowed Lilia Crouthamel to score.

Lingenfelter got the start in the circle, and she had a tremendous performance after her performance against Missouri. She pitched a complete game, striking out five batters and giving up five hits. Being able to bounce back after giving up a walk-off run the previous day is impressive and shows how resilient this team could be.

Game Three vs. UConn

It was another heartbreaker in game two of the Saturday doubleheader. UConn pulled off a walk-off win against Penn State, winning 2-1.

Parshall was in the circle for the Nittany Lions, and while she pitched well for most of the game, she was the one who gave up the walk-off double with two outs. That has happened twice in three games so far, which is a rather unlucky break for this team. Still, Parshall struck out seven batters, which is something that shouldn’t be overlooked despite the outcome of the game.

As the games have gone on, the offense has improved. Despite losing and only scoring one run, the Nittany Lions were able to tally six hits. Crouthamel had an RBI triple, while Claire Swedberg led the way with two singles. Michelle Leone, Lexie Black, and Lindmark also got on base via singles.

Game Four vs. Akron

It was a bounce-back performance Sunday morning for the Nittany Lions. They were able to come back and get a win against Akron 3-2.

It was an electric offensive performance against the Zips. Lindmark continued her impressive Penn State debut with an RBI single. Jones drove in the tying run, while Swedberg was able to keep the inning alive by beating a bobbled throw and allowing Marcotte to score.

Lingenfelter had another great pitching performance. She earned her second straight win and tied her career-high in strikeouts with seven. It has been a great start to the season for her, and if she keeps it up, the Nittany Lions may have a second ace on their team.

Game Five vs. Pitt

The series ended with a big win against in-state rival Pitt. The Nittany Lions shut out the Panthers 1-0 in the final game of the Sunday doubleheader.

Parshall got the start again, and she went the distance yet again. She pitched another complete game, striking out 11 while only giving up three hits. It was her first win of the season.

Lindmark continued her hot streak on offense, driving in the lone run of the game on an RBI double. Crouthamel, Swedberg, and Marcotte all also got a hit even though they could not drive in any other runs.

Takeaways

  • Bailey Parshall is elite, folks. Any time she steps into the circle, Penn State has an opportunity to win. On top of all of that, she tallied 400 career strikeouts against No. 11 Missouri, in a game where she struck out the side in the first two innings. When healthy, she is the x-factor that can get this team improving in so many ways.
  • This team has shown to have a lot of resiliency. They could have beaten Missouri. In fact, they were one out away from pulling off that huge upset. Despite losing that game in heartbreaking fashion, they bounced back and shut-out Eastern Kentucky. If this team can have that same mindset in every game they play, they will have chances to win and maybe upset some teams. It also shows the team has improved from last season, which is very important for Clarisa Crowell’s squad.
  • Cassie Lindmark is an impact transfer. She didn’t have an amazing game against Missouri, but she recorded a hit in every game afterward. It is the consistency that is important, because the offense last year struggled to even get on base. Now that the Nittany Lions can get on base, runs should shortly follow, and that will put them in a position to win.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions will head back down to Miami, Florida next weekend to take part in the Panther Invitational. They will take on Cleveland State and FIU on Friday, Buffalo on Saturday, and two unannounced teams on both Saturday and Sunday. First pitch against Cleveland State will be at 12:30 p.m.

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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 school work. 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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