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Penn State Softball Takes One Of Three Against Wisconsin In Last Home Series

Penn State softball (29-20, 11-9 Big Ten) battled the University of Wisconsin (27-13, 12-6 Big Ten), splitting its doubleheader in the final home series of the season.

It was a weekend full of celebration as the Nittany Lions honored their seniors, held the first-ever Pride night for Penn State athletics, and welcomed Penn State’s new athletic director Patrick Kraft to throw out the first pitch Friday.

On the field, the competition was fierce as Beard Field saw a ten-inning matchup as well as a walk-off win for the Nittany Lions on their Senior Day.

Game One

To start off the series, Penn State lost a hard-fought extra-inning battle 1-0.

Bailey Parshall took to the mound and accounted for five strikeouts within the first three innings. Neither team was able to score through six innings.

Just when it seemed Wisconsin was getting momentum in the top of the seventh, Penn State’s Cassie Lindmark was able to get a much-needed out on a steal to second.

A quick bottom of the seventh inning ended and brought on extra-innings to Nittany Lion Softball Park. The Badgers entered the eighth with a runner on base, but they had no success.

Penn State finally began to hit its stride when Cassie Lindmark broke the no-hitter in the bottom of the ninth, but she was left on base to end the inning.

Wisconsin finally found success in the tenth with a solo home run. Penn State couldn’t score to stay alive and took the 1-0 loss.

Game Two

In the second game of the weekend, Penn State dropped the game with an 8-1 score.

Keeping their energy from the first game, Wisconsin struck early with a solo shot in the first, immediately going up 1-0. The Badgers were hot once again in the second, scoring four more runs to take a 5-0 lead through two.

Wisconsin again got the bats going and extended their lead to 8-0 in the fourth. But, coming down to the last out before a mercy rule loss was at hand, Penn State senior Shelli Rivard bombed the first pitch to keep the Nittany Lions in the game.

Penn State put runners on the bases in both the sixth and seventh inning, but no runs crossed the plate, they then absorbed the 8-1 loss.

Game Three

In the final home game of the season, Penn State 4-3 won in a dramatic fashion.

What started as another pitcher’s duel, Bailey Parshall once again stepped into the circle. In true Parshall fashion, she came out hot without giving up a run through two innings.

The competition became fierce in the third when a controversial call down in left field scored a run for the Badgers, but Parshall was able to keep the strikeout count going.

The bats came alive for Penn State in the fourth inning when Liana Jones doubled to left field and put two runners in scoring position. Penn State’s Lauren Marcotte wasted no time when she ripped the ball to shortstop and the error on Wisconsin’s player scored Ally Kurland. Kaitlyn Morrison then came up in the next at-bat to lay down a perfect sac bunt, giving Penn State the 2-1 lead.

Wisconsin then threatened in the fifth, but another amazing play from senior Lilia Crouthamel shut down the Badgers.

The Nittany Lions were unsuccessful in the bottom of the fifth, and Wisconsin regained the lead in the top of the next inning. But, Lilia Crotuhamel once again had a strong throw from center field to put out the runner at home and keep Wisconsin’s lead to one run.

As the game was coming to a close in the seventh, Penn State’s Lexie Black was able to hit a two-run walk-off double to prevent the sweep. The Nittany Lions secured the 4-3 victory.

Takeaways

  • Although the score seems like Penn State did not compare, the team most definitely has the pieces to pull together these wins and really compete in the Big Ten. If a few hits or plays went in the direction of Penn State, these games would have had completely different outcomes.
  • As we have seen all season, Cassie Lindmark is a menace when she comes to the plate, but she is just as much of a beast from behind it. She threw out runners at second, twice, and made sure her presence was known in the field.
  • While Penn State usually manufactures runs from the long ball, bunts and short game were key in this series. The philosophy was able to change at the plate and help secure the last win.

What’s Next

The Nittany Lions will finish out the regular season with a three-game series against Illinois, starting at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 6 in Champaign.

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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 counting down the days until she gets to see Luke Combs at the Linc. Feel free to reach her on Twitter @MckeonMara, and for more formal affairs, her email is mom5944@psu.edu.

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