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Penn State Softball Drops High-Scoring Game To Iowa 9-4

Penn State softball (19-5, 1-1 Big Ten) lost to Iowa (19-12, 1-1 Big Ten) 9-4 in the first game of a doubleheader on Sunday at Beard Field.

Bailey Parshall struggled on the mound and allowed nine runs in the morning game of the Nittany Lions’ doubleheader, which is the most runs Penn State has given up in a single game this season.

How It Happened

Bailey Parshall started in the circle for the 13th time this season but only lasted two innings after she allowed four runs. She finished the day after allowing three hits and four walks and recording one strikeout.

Melody Coombs led off the offense for Penn State in the first inning, as her initial single turned into a stolen second base. A sacrifice groundout from Emily Maddock advanced Coombs to third base before an error sent the junior to home plate.

Iowa put together a resounding response in the next inning. After Parshall walked Denali Loecker and Brylee Klosterman, Tristin Doster sent them all around the bases with a home run to left-center field.

The Hawkeyes followed that home run with two more hits in that same inning, with a single from Anna Streff and a double from Sammy Diaz. A sacrifice fly sent Streff home to take a 4-1 lead, though the inning ended one out later on a fly ball.

The Nittany Lions pulled Parshall from the circle after the second inning and put Vanessa Oatley on the mound to start the third. The Hawkeyes kept their momentum in the third inning, as Loecker scored her second while Klosterman followed suit. With under half of the game played, Iowa was up by a commanding five-run lead.

Penn State had every opportunity to score in the fourth inning. After Maddock doubled to right field, Kaitlyn Morrison followed behind and could have sent Maddock home, but she was held up at third base by her coach. With two runners in scoring position and just one out on the board, the Nittany Lions had a chance to bring the game back within striking distance. However, one strikeout and one flyout later, the side was retired and Penn State was still down 6-1.

Despite its earlier defensive struggles, Penn State put on a master class in the fourth inning. With the bases loaded and no outs on the board, Iowa seemed certain to score. However, a good heads-up from third baseman Michelle Leone and catcher Morgan Farrah avoided a run on the next hit of the inning. Strikeouts from Oatley retired the next two batters as the Nittany Lions avoided disaster.

On the very next pitch at the bottom of the inning, Lydia Coleman added a spark to Penn State’s offense with a solo home run. However, the Nittany Lions only recorded a walk for the rest of the evening and finished the inning down 6-2.

Penn State didn’t have to wait for long to make an impact in the fifth inning. After a single from Maddock, Morrison smashed her second hit of the day to deep left field as the pair trotted the bases. Maddock and Morrison recorded the only runs of the fifth inning, but head coach Clarisa Crowell’s group was down just 6-4 entering the sixth.

Iowa went to work again in the sixth inning, scoring an early run from an RBI double and another from an RBI single. However, Penn State killed any scoring runs and ended the inning down 8-4.

Paige Maynard took the circle in the seventh inning as the Nittany Lions tried to save their chances. Iowa, on the other hand, was determined to put the game out of reach, and did so with one last run from Rylie Moss to make the score 9-4.

Penn State recorded one last hit in the seventh inning but it was far from enough as the team dropped its fifth game of the season 9-4.

Takeaways:

  • Penn State’s pitching struggled throughout the game. Parshall, who has averaged an ERA of 1.26 this season, allowed four runs in a single inning. Oatley was better in the circle, but she still struggled en route to allowing four more runs.
  • For what it’s worth, Penn State kept the faith. While they were down by five runs, the Nittany Lions still pushed to bring the game back within striking distance. If there’s a way to lose, it’s to go down swinging.

What’s Next?

Penn State will play the second game of its doubleheader later on Sunday. The game will begin following the conclusion of the 11 a.m. matchup.

After this weekend, Penn State will travel to Minnesota for its first away series of Big Ten play. The Nittany Lions will face the Golden Gophers at 6 p.m. on Friday, March 31, in Minneapolis to kick off the series.

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About the Author

Joe Lister

Joe is a junior journalism major at Penn State and Onward State's managing editor. He covers Penn State football, among other Penn State sports. He also listens to Mac Miller more than you. If you want to find him, Joe's usually watching soccer with his shirt off or at the gym with his shirt on. For dumb stuff, follow him on Twitter (iamjoelister). For serious stuff, email him ([email protected]).

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