Penn State Softball Falls To Iowa 4-3, Drops Second Leg Of Double Header
Penn State softball (19-6, 1-2 Big Ten) lost to Iowa (20-12, 2-1 Big Ten) 4-3 Sunday afternoon at Beard Field.
The Nittany Lions started fifth-year Kylee Lingenfelter on the bump, returning from her win on Thursday against the Hawkeyes, while Iowa sent freshman Jalen Adams to pitch.
Both teams were hot to begin the matchup after a high-scoring first leg of the doubleheader, as Penn State captured a 3-2 edge by the bottom of the second inning. Both starting pitchers cooled off the bats by the third inning, but Iowa managed to bring in two more runs down the stretch to claim the contest.
How It Happened
Taking momentum from their win earlier that morning, the Hawkeyes’ Nia Carter led off with a single that snuck up the middle of the infield. Tatianna Roman followed Carter to the bases on a throwing error, putting Carter on third base. Iowa capitalized on its threatening runner on a Tory Bennett RBI double, setting the score at a 1-0 margin. The Nittany Lions stopped the bleeding with a pop-out, strikeout, and groundout to end the top of the first.
Penn State immediately answered the bell when Melody Coombs hit a bomb to deep center field, stretching the play to a leadoff triple. Emily Maddock brought her home on a single that dropped behind the infielders to tie the game at 1-1. The Nittany Lions earned another hit when Lexie Black hit a double to center field and forced Iowa to change pitchers to Denali Loecker.
Iowa would reclaim their lead in the next inning off of a Sammy Diaz laser that eclipsed the outfield wall for a home run, putting the Hawkeyes up 2-1.
The Nittany Lions returned to the batters’ box in the second, with Morgan Farrah and Lilia Crouthamel singling and Coombs laying down a sacrifice bunt to advance her teammates to scoring position. Maddock, with flashes of deja vu from the inning prior, knocked a single to right field and brought both runners home for her second and third RBIs of the game. The second inning would end with a score of 3-2, in favor of Penn State.
Lingenfelter controlled the third inning from the mound, striking out two Hawkeyes, while also receiving help from her shortstop to close the inning.
Iowa would find its next baserunner at the top of the fourth when Diaz reached first base on a shortstop error. Carter smashed Lingenfelter’s fastball to left field, doubling and bringing Diaz home for an unearned run, and knotting the score up at 3-3.
After a lackluster fourth frame, Penn State made a pitching change in the fifth by bringing in Bailey Parshall. The switch-up saw her dispatch her first three batters with a fly-out, a swinging strikeout, and a ground-out.
Iowa followed suit at the top of the sixth, also tallying a double from Tristin Doster, but leaving her on base with the three following batters failing to leave the plate.
Penn State threatened to take the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning with Liana Jones doubling off of a line drive to the left field, and advancing to third base on Lydia Coleman’s sacrifice bunt. The Nittany Lions were unable to capitalize, though, as the next to batters popped out.
Iowa started the seventh inning hot with Carter getting on first base off of the leading pitch. She was pushed to second by Tatianna Roman’s bunt, who found herself in scoring position. Carter came home when Bennett punched the ball through the infield, beating out the throw to make the score 4-3 Iowa.
The Nittany Lions were unable to respond to the Hawkeyes’ late score with a pair of groundouts and a closing strikeout to end the game.
- The Hawkeyes were able to garner solid hitting in clutch situations, scoring two of their runs in two-out scenarios. The Nittany Lions couldn’t bring home their runners in the same situation, netting zero results when with their backs against the wall.
- Bailey Parshall was dialed in for Penn State. After entering the mound from the bullpen during the fifth inning, the Pennsylvania product hurled 21 strikes on 24 total pitches.
Penn State will resume its campaign with an upcoming three-game series at Minnesota. The first matchup is slated to begin at 6 p.m. on Friday, March 31.
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