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Penn State Softball Goes 5-0 In USF Tournament

Penn State softball (15-3) spent the latter half of its spring break in Tampa, Florida, playing in the USF Tournament. This tournament marked the second time the Nittany Lions have gone undefeated in an invitational setting this season.

Clutch hits were the highlight of the weekend as Penn State outscored its opponents 32-10. Michelle Leone and Morgan Farrah each went 2-3 on the weekend, while Kaitlyn Morrison went 2-5.

Game One vs. Florida Gulf Coast

To open up the weekend, Penn State topped Florida Gulf Coast 3-2.

The bats were hot from the start this weekend as Melody Coombs and Lydia Coleman each got on base and scored in the first inning. But the Eagles quickly tied the game in the third inning with two runs of their own after a sacrifice fly and single to center field.

Pitcher Kylee Lingenfelter put on a clinic once again and held back the Eagles, but the Nittany Lions regained the lead in the sixth inning.

Lexie Black had a single to put her on first base before being replaced by pinch runner Maddie Gordon. Gordon then scored on a hit from pinch hitter Emily Maddock and granted Penn State the 3-2 win.

Game Two vs. USF

In similar fashion to game one, Penn State beat the USF Bulls 3-2.

USF was the first to strike in the game, coming in the bottom of the third when Tieley Vaughn scored on teammate Emilee Hanlon’s single. The Bulls scored again in the fourth inning when Rian Eigenmann singled bringing around Lauren Bevis.

The Nittany Lions got on the board in the sixth inning when they had the bases loaded due to walks, and Kaitlyn Morrison produced a run with a hard-hit ball to the shortstop. This led to an error and movement on the basepaths. Lauren Marcotte added to the score with a single to left field, bringing in two more runs to give Penn State the lead.

Senior pitcher Vanessa Oatley earned the save after coming into the game in the fourth inning and blanking USF to maintain the lead and win 3-2.

Game Three vs. Saint Francis

Day two of the tournament started off with another win against Saint Francis.

Saint Francis struck first against Penn State’s Paige Maynard when it had two in scoring position and Tessa Thompson had a three-run shot to put the Red Flash on top.

But the Nittany Lions wasted no time on the comeback and scored eight runs in the latter half of the inning. A number of singles and hit-by-pitches loaded up the bases and had Penn State completely around the lineup.

Penn State scored again in the sixth inning when Maggie Finnegan got on base and scored from second base after a throwing error into center field, adding another run to the board.

Bailey Parshall held the Red Flash back after that initial scoring, and the Nittany Lions won by a final score of 9-3.

Game Four vs. Marist

The fourth game of the tournament was another win for Penn State over Marist.

No runs were scored in the first two innings, but Penn State finally found runs after Coleman hit a triple and scored off a fielding error from Finnegan’s hit. The Nittany Lions loaded the bases with two outs and scored two more runs off of freshman Farrah’s hit to left field, extending their lead 3-0.

The Nittany Lions continued to score with Coleman coming home off of Black’s double in the fourth and Leone and Jenna Nelson, who pinch-ran for Farrah, both scored in the fifth.

Penn State finished up the game with three more runs in the top of the sixth inning with Maddock scoring from Morrison’s single, as well as Morrison and Finnegan scoring off of a deep sacrifice fly from Leone.

Marist scored one in the bottom of the sixth but couldn’t scrounge up any more runs to make a comeback, giving Penn State the 9-1 win.

Game Five vs. Florida Gulf Coast

Penn State picked up another win over Florida Gulf Coast in its second matchup of the weekend.

The Nittany Lions started right from the jump in the first inning when Coombs singled and Leone drove home Coombs for the first run of the game. Black doubled to bring home Morrison, and another double from Farrah cleared the bases to up the score to 5-0.

Liana Jones had a sacrifice fly to bring in Farrah, rounding out the six runs scored in the first inning. Parshall then stepped into the circle and shut down the Eagles.

Penn State scored once again in the third with a sacrifice fly from Coombs.

The Eagles got on the board in the bottom of the third with one, but Jones was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the top of the fourth to get another run on the board for Penn State.

The next run to be scored came from Florida Gulf Coast in the bottom of the sixth inning, but they couldn’t face up against the Nittany Lions and gave Penn State the 8-2 win.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions will have their first home games of the season as they host the Penn State Softball Invitational. The tournament will feature Cornell, Canisius, Binghampton, and UMBC. Penn State will open the tournament at 4 p.m. on Friday, March 17, at Beard Field.

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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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