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Penn State Softball Opens Season 5-0 In UNF-JU Tournament

Penn State softball (5-0) opened up its season in Jacksonville, Florida, this weekend in the UNF-JU Tournament.

After its season opener at Coastal Carolina was canceled last week, Penn State struck back in a huge way and went undefeated in its opening slate of nonconference matchups.

It’s the first time since 1974 that the team started off its season with a 5-0 record, showing huge progress for the team in just the opening weekend.

Game One vs. Cleveland State

To open up the season, the Nittany Lions came away with a 6-1 victory.

Fifth-year Kylee Lingenfelter earned her first start of the season, fending off Cleveland State until the fourth inning. The Vikings capitalized on two errors from Penn State and pushed one run across the board.

But the Nittany Lions went off at the plate and manufactured multiple extra-base hits. Junior Liana Jones led the pack with a home run over the right field fence, scoring Lauren Marcotte and Emily Maddock. Kaitlyn Morrison also recorded a double to bring home another run.

Lingenfelter then closed out the game in the last two innings, giving Penn State the win.

Game Two vs. North Florida

Rounding out day one, Penn State blanked UNF 5-0.

Ace Bailey Parshall was the MVP from the beginning and struck out three batters in a row with the bases loaded, leaving UNF scoreless.

Penn State then kept the momentum from Parshall rolling, scoring four in the top of the second inning thanks to Jones and Maggie Finnegan.

Parshall also came close to a no-hitter, but a hit in the top of the sixth snapped her chances. Still, she closed out the game to get the win.

Game Three vs. Bethune Cookman

In freshman Paige Maynard’s first start, she earned a no-hitter and ultimately led the Nittany Lions to a 3-0 win.

While there was no score through two innings, Jones singled, and Morrison put the ball in play to score Jones.

Once again in the fifth, Penn State got the bats going. This time, Lexie Black blasted a two-run shot to increase the Nittany Lions’ lead to 3-0.

Maynard held on and secured the no-hitter in her first career start.

Game Four vs. Jacksonville

Finishing off day two, Penn State defeated Jacksonville 4-0.

The game remained scoreless until the fifth inning, but Lilia Crouthamel and Jones brought in two singles before Finnegan hit a double to lead two runs home.

Black then had a sacrifice fly to center field to score Crouthamel. The fourth run was then registered by Melody Coombs after another sac fly, this time from Crouthamel.

Parshall then earned the save, pitching 11 strikeouts, which is tied for third in program history.

Game Five vs. Memphis

The final game of the weekend solidified the Nittany Lion’s undefeated status as they beat Memphis 10-0.

Lingenfelter was on fire in the circle and struck out 12 hitters in four innings.

On the offensive side, Penn State jumped out early, leading 2-0 in the first inning thanks to a double from Black.

The hits just kept coming as Penn State upped its lead 10-0 after the third.

No runs were allowed in the bottom of the fourth, so the Nittany Lions ended the game early due to the mercy rule.

Takeaways:

  • Last season, Penn State started off with a 3-2 record in the Northern Lights Southern Nights tournament, so it is nice to see the team already off to a much stronger, and historic, start.
  • Perhaps the biggest performance of the weekend came from freshman Paige Maynard and her no-hitter against Bethune Cookman. This is major for the pitching staff if others can dominate in the circle and give Bailey Parshall some well-deserved days off.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions will stay in the south to face four new opponents in the Charlotte Tournament in Charlotte, North Carolina. Game one will start at 3 p.m., February, 24 against Charlotte. Penn State will also contest Kent State, Georgia Tech, and Boston University.

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About the Author

Mara McKeon

Mara is a senior 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 or Penn State wrestling and counting down the days until she gets to see Luke Combs in Beaver Stadium. Feel free to reach her on Twitter @MckeonMara, and for more formal affairs, her email is [email protected].

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