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Penn State Softball Wins One Of Five At Carolina Classic

Penn State softball (9-9) started off spring break in Chapel Hill, North Carolina to compete in the Carolina Classic tournament.

The Nittany Lions faced some tough losses and won just one game. However, the weekend overall had a lot of growth and career firsts for new and returning players on Penn State’s roster.

Game One vs. No. 12 Oregon

The Nittany Lions started out their weekend with a 12-4 loss to No. 12 Oregon. Despite the mercy-rule defeat, Penn State held a lead through the first three innings of the game.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Ducks exploded offensively with three home runs and eight runs scored. Penn State was able to get the bases loaded in the fifth but couldn’t capitalize. Oregon scored two more runs in the fifth to end the game.

Despite the loss, Ally Kurland had her fourth home run of the season, while Michelle Leone had her first career bomb. Maddie Gorman made her collegiate debut in the circle.

Game Two vs. UNC

Bouncing back from its loss to Oregon, Penn State took the offensive charge at the plate with 11 hits to win 12-0 over the North Carolina.

After leading just 4-0 through six innings, the Nittany Lions scored eight in the top of the seventh to secure the huge win. Leading the lineup was once again Ally Kurland with six RBIs and a grand slam. This was the first grand slam for Penn State since 2019.

Bailey Parshall earned her fourth pitching shutout of the season — already the most in a season during her career.

Game Three vs. UConn

After opposite results on day one, Penn State returned on Saturday against the University of Connecticut, resulting in a 7-1 loss.

Through the first four innings, pitcher Kylee Lingenfelter held the Huskies scoreless. But, the fourth inning saw three consecutive walks to load the bases, then a double by UConn’s Reese Guevarra made the score 4-0. Another home run extended the lead 6-0.

A double by Ally Kurland and a wild pitch gave the Nittany Lions one in the sixth, but that’s all they would get.

Game Four vs. UNC Greensboro

Bouncing back from its win earlier in the day, Penn State scored three runs in the fourth innings to take the lead. Greensboro then clawed its way back within one, but Kurland had her third home run of the tournament to extend their lead once again.

In the top of the seventh, Greensboro scored on a sac fly to tie the game at four. Then, a three-run home run gave Greensboro its first lead of the game. Penn State was unsuccessful in the bottom of the inning and suffered a 7-4 loss.

Game Five vs. UNC Greensboro

The Nittany Lions played their last game of the weekend as a rematch against UNC Greensboro. The back-and-forth battle ended in an 8-4 loss for Penn State.

The action started from the beginning with a two-run home run from Greenboro’s Makenna Matthijs. This was quickly answered by Penn State’s Lexie Black with a home run of her own, but Matthijs came back to the plate with a grand slam to make the score 6-3 through two.

Lydia Spalding came into the game in the fifth to try and close the gap, but two more home runs gave Greenboro the 8-4 lead. Penn State could not recover and dropped its last game of the weekend.

Takeaways

  • Despite a losing record on the weekend, Penn State was able to show some tough competiton against highly ranked teams and programs. If it weren’t for a few rough innings, the Nittany Lions would have added some excellent wins to their record.
  • The offense is continung to shine in nonconference play, and it will be a huge help going into Big Ten play in a few weeks. First, the defense needs to find more ways to keep runners off of the basepath to ensure those wins.

What’s Next?

Penn State will stay in North Carolina and take on Duke on Tuesday, March 8, in the Duke Softball Stadium.

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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 wondering when Luke Combs will come back to the BJC. Feel free to reach her on Twitter @MckeonMara, and for more formal affairs, her email is [email protected]

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