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Penn State Softball Defeats Cornell And Rider In Doubleheader

Penn State softball put together a strong performance at the Penn State Softball Invitational on Sunday, as the Nittany Lions won both of their games, taking down Cornell 12-3 and Rider 2-1 in extra innings.

The wins continue a hot streak for Penn State, who have now won each of its last six games.

Game One Vs. Cornell

Lydia Spalding earned her first start in the pitcher’s circle for Penn State, performing well in her first start, with a 3.50 ERA across four innings. Offensively, Penn State played an incredible game, winning 10-2 off a mercy rule.

The Penn State offense got started right away in the first inning, as Lauren Marcotte reached first base off a Cornell error. Lexie Black then sent her seventh pitch over the fence to give Penn State a 2-0 lead.

Black wasn’t done after that homer, though. She earned her second RBI of the day off of a sacrifice fly to center field to get Mel Coombs from third base to home plate. With two outs in the third inning, Lauren Marcotte made an impressive effort to steal second base. It turned out to be for naught, however, as Emily Maddock grounded out to end the inning with Penn State up 3-0.

Cornell finally got on the scoreboard in the 4th inning. Julie Hicken reached first base on Spalding’s second allowed hit, while Emily McKinney sent a home run over the fence to bring Cornell within one run.

Penn State responded well in the bottom of the fourth, as the first three batters reached base on each of their hits. A line drive from Coombs down the left foul line sent Lilia Crouthamel and Maggie Finnegan to home plate. A deep hit from Cassie Lindmark sent Lydia Coleman and Coombs home, as the Nittany Lions took a 7-2 lead. However, a double play and a flyout ended the otherwise perfect inning for Penn State.

Penn State’s bats stayed hot in the fifth inning, as Finnegan hit a home run to send herself home, along with Michelle Leone and Crouthamel. With the score at 10-2 for the Nittany Lions, the eight-run rule was invoked as Penn State walked away with a mercy rule win.

Game Two Vs. Rider

Vannessa Oatley earned her first start of the season. While performing well during the initial three innings, Oatley struggled in the fourth, walking three batters while hitting two. She was eventually pulled after walking Rider’s Elena Gonzalez with three runners on base, giving Rider its first run.

The Nittany Lions then fired another first-inning home run, this time by Ally Kurland.

Both teams stayed quiet on offense, until Rider reached home on Oatley’s final pitch. After Bailey Parshall struck out Rider’s final batter of the fourth inning, Penn State took a sigh of relief after avoiding further scores with the bases loaded.

The game quieted down offensively after that. Neither team scored for the rest of the first seven innings, and went into the eighth tied 1-1. After keeping Rider from reaching home in the top of the eighth, Penn State walked off the game as Cassie Lindmark scored off an RBI by Lexie Black. Lindmark benefitted from the extra innings rule, which starts one player on second base at the beginning of any inning after the 7th, as she saw her Nittany Lions win 2-1.

Takeaways

  • Freshman Lydia Spalding deserves more starts. She allowed three hits through four innings, while only allowing two runs. Across the season, she’s proved herself with a respectable ERA of 3.96, second among pitchers with more than two innings pitched.
  • Penn State’s hitting needs to be more consistent. After taking care of Cornell with 11 hits in five innings, the Nittany Lions only had three hits across the first seven innings, and only saw one in the eighth. Obviously, fatigue is a factor, but the Nittany Lions weak bats almost led to their second game downfall.
  • The Nittany Lions are hot right now. Currently on a six-game win streak, they play their next eight games in the comfort of Beard Field. For the immediate future, the program looks bright.

What’s Next

The Nittany Lions stay at home for a game on Tuesday, March 22, against St. Francis University at Beard Field. The first pitch will come at 6 p.m.

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About the Author

Joe Lister

Joe is a freshman journalism major at Penn State. He enjoys yelling into the void over things such as the Philadelphia Union, the United States Men's Nation Team (soccer), Eagles, and Penn State football, alongside whatever else comes to mind. Find (and disagree with him) on Twitter (Joe_Lister21).

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