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Penn State Softball Splits Weekend Series In Georgia

Penn State softball (8-5) earned two wins and two losses in the I-75 Challenge down in Georgia this weekend. The team’s offense flourished and outscored opponents 19-12 across four games.

A fifth game against Georgia State was originally scheduled for Sunday, February 27, but it was canceled due to inclement weather.

Game One vs. Georgia Tech

On a weekend when the offense was flowing for the Nittany Lions, this was the only game that they were unable to get a run across. It was a pitchers’ duel throughout the game, with Bailey Parshall (3-2) giving up only a walk-off two-run home-run for the game to end 2-0.

Despite giving up the last-second homer, Parshall pitched well. She struck out eight batters and continued to show her dominance by pitching late into games. She has had some unlucky breaks early this season, but going the distance in most of the games should help her out moving forward.

The offense, despite getting blanked on the scoreboard, actually out-hit the Yellowjackets. Cassie Lindmark, the hottest hitter on the roster, posted a three-hit day. Lexie Black and Lilia Crouthamel also added a hit to the total, but none of the hits amounted to much of anything in the box score.

Game Two vs. Georgia Tech

Game two against the Yellowjackets didn’t go much better than game one. Despite a late comeback attempt, the Nittany Lions lost 6-4.

The team is starting to find its power at this point in the season, and it showed today. Ally Kurland led the way with a solo home run in the first inning, and Lindmark followed up with a three-run bomb in the seventh. Both Lauren Marcotte and Mel Coombs also contributed two-hit games to go along with the homers.

Kylee Lingenfelter (3-3) entered the circle to start the game, and she pitched well until the sixth inning. The flood gates opened when five runs were scored to make it a 6-1 lead. Freshman Lydia Spalding made her debut, facing two batters in the bottom of the sixth and getting a double-play to end the inning.

Game Three vs. Kennesaw State

The first game of the Saturday doubleheader turned out to be a much-needed win for the Nittany Lions. The bats came to life for a 5-2 Penn State win.

Parshall stepped back into the circle for this game and, despite giving up a home run in the first inning, was lights out. She struck out five batters, gave up four hits, and walked only one throughout the entire game. She added another complete game to her stat sheet to top it all off.

The offense was heating up as well. Kurland and Michelle Leone led the way with two hits each, Leone getting on base with a double. Maggie Finnegan had a big two-RBI single, and Black hit her first homer of the season — a three-run shot. Crouthamel and Marcotte also got on base during the game.

Game Four vs. Kennesaw State

The final game of the Georgia road trip was a perfect end for Penn State, which won 10-2 in just five innings.

Everyone who was hot coming into this game had a big performance. Lindmark had her second three-hit game this weekend while also adding two RBIs to her season total. Leone also drove in two runs, while Black had her second three-run homer in as many games. Marcotte and Crouthamel also created opportunities for runs to score, but thanks to errors against Kennesaw State, those runs won’t go down as RBIs.

Lingenfelter initially got the start for the Nittany Lions, but she was taken out of the game after two innings. Spalding was brought in to replace her and pitched well in three innings of work. She gave up two hits and one run, the latter of which came in the final inning. It was enough to earn the first win of her college career.

Takeaways

  • How about Cassie Lindmark? She’s single handededly providing the offense spark that the Nittany Lions needed. Lindmark has not just stepped up to the plate, but knocked it out of the park. If she can keep this up, she could be getting some serious recognition across the Big Ten.
  • One of the major problems that plagued this team last year was its defense. It felt like there were very few games last season where the Nittany Lions recorded non errors. This season, they have cleaned it up tremendously. There will always be games with a few slip-ups, but they have given themselves chances to win big games by cleaning up their fielding techniques. It is a major sign of growth for Clarisa Crowell and her coaching staff in her second season.
  • Bailey Parshall should be nationally considered as one of the best pitchers in softball. She has pitched so well this season (and she had a perfect game last weekend, for crying out loud). If she keeps it up, she’s deserving of some serious national recognition.

What’s Next?

While Penn State students go on spring break, the Nittany Lions will travel to Chapel Hill to play in the Carolina Classic. While they’re there, they will play No. 12 Oregon, UNC, UNC Greensboro, and a rematch against UCONN, which handed them a heartbreaking loss in the first week of the season.

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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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