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Penn State Softball Upsets No. 22 Michigan To Wrap Three-Game Series

Penn State softball (23-15, 5-4) may have lost two games against No. 22 Michigan (23-12, 4-5), but it was able to pull out its first win against the Wolverines since 2006 on Sunday afternoon.

The Nittany Lions are now in seventh place in the Big Ten but sit tied for third in total wins, a vast improvement from where they stood at this time last season.

Game One

It was a tough game for the Nittany Lions who couldn’t seem to find any footing throughout the game. They fell 8-0 in five innings.

The offense was non-existent in this game, as Penn State’s team totaled one hit. The knock was a Lexie Black single, although both Maggie Finnegan and Michelle Leone walked to get on base.

Bailey Parshall got the start in the circle, though it wasn’t her best performance. She pitched four innings, allowing three runs on two hits while striking out four. Lydia Spalding entered the game in relief, but she didn’t fare well either and gave up five runs on three hits.

Game Two

The Saturday game was a very close matchup, but the Nittany Lions lost again — this time in walk-off fashion 2-1.

Kylee Lingenfelter got the start, pitching two innings and giving up three hits. Vanessa Oatley entered in relief for just one inning. She gave up one run on four hits while striking out two. Parshall followed up with 3.1 innings pitched, though she gave up the game-winning run.

Cassie Lindmark’s solo home run was the biggest offensive spark for the Nittany Lions. Leone contributed as well with a two hit game, while Black and Mel Coombs tallied one hit apiece, too.

Game Three

Head coach Clarisa Crowell says this team has grit, and it was proven on Sunday afternoon when the Nittany Lions pulled off the upset in a 3-2 victory over the Wolverines.

Just three hits were tallied throughout the game for Penn State, and two of those were home runs. Ally Kurland got the scoring started with a two-run bomb in the third inning, but it was Lindmark’s go-ahead solo shot in the seventh that won the game.

Lingenfelter got the start again in the circle, pitching three innings and giving up two runs. Oatley was brought on in relief, pitching two innings and giving up only one hit in the process. Finally, Parshall got her redemption. After two straight appearances with a loss, she returned to her ice-cold ways and earned the landmark win.

Takeaways

  • There may be no such thing as moral victories, but the last two games of this series proved that Penn State can compete with the top teams of the conference. All season long, the Nittany Lions have shown that they can hang with ranked opponents, like Missouri and Duke. These one-run walk-off losses have created a resilient culture that paid off with Penn State’s first ranked win of the season.
  • Penn State needs more consistent production from its offense. Michelle Leone had a great series, as did Lexie Black, but they’re only two of nine starters who consistently hit the ball well. Cassie Lindmark and Ally Kurland eventually got hot, as they have been all season, but it took a long while. The Nittany Lions cannot win games if they need to rely on the same people night in and night out.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions will return home to take on Indiana for a three-game series. The action begins at 6 p.m. on Friday April 15.

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About the Author

Owen Abbey

Owen Abbey was a Secondary Education major before he graduated from the wonderful institution known as Penn State. When he was not writing for the blog, he enjoyed 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. All of this work prepared him to teach his own class of students, which was always his true passion. He still can be found on Twitter @theowenabbey and can be reached for questions and comments at [email protected]

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