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Penn State Softball Wins Final Regular-Season Series Over Illinois

Penn State softball (31-21, 13-10 Big Ten) completed its regular season with a series victory over Illinois (34-19, 15-7 Big Ten), as the squad took two of three games.

With the series victory, the Nittany Lions now finish in seventh place in the conference standings and won the second-most conference games in school history during the 2022 regular season.

Game One

The first game of the series was moved from Friday to Saturday due to inclement weather, which created a doubleheader on Saturday. That first game was not pretty on either side and led to a 4-3 Penn State loss.

The offense was not at its best for this game. The third inning saw the most action for Penn State, as both Ally Kurland and Kaitlyn Morrison hit RBI singles. Lauren Marcotte also hit a fielder’s choice that drove in a run, but those were the only sources of offense in the Clarisa Crowell’s team. The Nittany Lions were unable to capitalize on the Fighting Illini’s four errors throughout the game.

Kylee Lingenfelter (5-12) earned the start in the circle and had a solid outing. She pitched three innings, gave up two runs on three hits, and struck out three batters. She earned a no-decision in the game. Bailey Parshall (21-8) entered in relief and probably had her worst appearance of the season. She gave up two runs on seven hits, struck out just one batter, and took the loss.

Game Two

The second game of the doubleheader ended with a much better result for Penn State. Despite committing four errors, the Nittany Lions won 2-0.

Lingenfelter got the start again and gave up only one hit in three innings. Parshall would enter in relief again as well, pitching four innings and only giving up three hits while striking out four.

There wasn’t a lot of offense in this game, either, but a well-timed Lexie Black two-run home run was just enough to give Penn State the edge. Maggie Finnegan also got on base with a double, and Cassie Lindmark had a hit, too.

Game Three

The final game of the regular season was a big win for the Nittany Lions, as they wrapped up the season with another 2-0 win and a classic Bailey Parshall shutout.

Parshall pitched her ninth complete game of the season, giving up no runs on four hits and striking out seven in the process. That brings her regular-season innings pitched total to 199.2, which makes her the most-used pitcher in the Big Ten. She is also third in ERA (1.65) and fourth in wins (21).

Lindmark led the way with an impressive day at the plate. She had two hits, including a double, and an RBI. Kurland and Liana Jones also had doubles during the game, while Kurland drove in a run as well.

Takeaways

  • It may be time to seriously consider giving Clarisa Crowell an extension, folks. Despite it being only her second year in Happy Valley, very few coaches have shown the kind of improvement she has shown from year one to year two. Last season, this team only won seven games. Most of the players that were on that losing team returned to the current roster, except for its best offensive player in 2021. Now, they have won 31 games and could easily go on a run to sneak into the NCAA Tournament.
  • It’s hard to put into words how important Cassie Lindmark was to the offense this season. Over the course of 52 games, she hit .399, which is the fifth-best mark in the conference. She hit seven homers and drove in 33 runs, all while leading off for the team. This team was in need of an offensive spark coming into this season, and Lindmark exceeded every expectation anyone may have had.

What’s Next

The Nittany Lions will play Indiana in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament at 11 a.m.. on Wednesday, May 11. Penn State won two games over the Hoosiers during the regular season.

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About the Author

Owen Abbey

Owen Abbey is a senior 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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