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Penn State Softball Goes 4-1 In Longhorn Invitational

Penn State softball (15-2) had another successful weekend and recorded a 4-1 outing in the Longhorn Invitation in Austin, Texas.

The Nittany Lions’ spring break schedule began on a high note with wins against Hofstra and Northwestern State and a pair of victories against Tarleton.

Leading Penn State, Kaitlyn Morrison earned her first Big Ten Player of the Week honor after a .600 batting average through the first four games of the tournament. She is the 16th Big Ten Player of the Week in program history.

Game One

Penn State started off the weekend with a 4-1 win over Hofstra.

The first inning was quiet, but Hofstra was first on the board in the second inning to lead 1-0.

The Nittany Lions finally brought in a run of their own after Hailey Brunson reached first on an error. Kaitlyn Morrison then stepped up the plate and smashed a double to score Brunson and tie the score at 1-1.

The scoring continued in the top of the sixth inning when Morrison got on base with a single. Emily Maddock also registered a single with two outs to put Penn State runners on first and second base. Liana Jones then came up big with a triple to right field to bring in both runs and extend Penn State’s lead to 3-1.

Penn State scored again in the seventh inning after Jiselle Hernandez walked, and Amanda Mack laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Hernandez to third. Waiting on third, Brunson hit a sacrifice fly and scored the run to make the score 4-1.

The Nittany Lions held off Hofstra in the bottom of the seventh inning to win 4-1.

Game Two

The Nittany Lions handled Tarleton for the first time of the weekend 8-7 in extra innings to round out day one.

Unlike game one, Penn State led off the first inning with a 1-0 lead, but Tarleton roared back with a run of its own to tie the score up at 1-1.

The bats continued to explode in the second inning with the bases loaded and one out. The first run scored after a groundout to first from Brunson brought Hernandez home. Morrison then came to the plate and lined an RBI double. After that, Gaby Garcia had a double of her own to score Morrison.

Penn State held a 5-1 lead, but a solo home run in the fourth inning and four more runs in the fifth inning quickly put Tarleton back on top 6-5. The back and forth continued on both sides, and the game was tied 7-7 in the seventh inning.

In a tiebreaker, Hernandez was placed on second base. She advanced on a sacrifice bunt to third and was hit home by Maddie Gordon. Penn State then won 8-7.

Game Three

Next, Penn State defeated Northwestern State 3-2.

Brunson started it off for the Nittany Lions with a bomb over the right-center fence for a quick 1-0 lead in the first. Another run was added on when Brunson had an RBI double in the bottom of the third to bring in Gordon.

Northwestern State found its fight in the top of the sixth inning with two runs to tie up the game 2-2.

But Penn State held the game from extra innings when Maddock singled to get on base in the seventh inning. A bunt from Gordon moved her over, and Brunson joined her on base after a walk. Morrison plated the winning run to left field and the 3-2 win was complete.

Game Four

Penn State beat Tarleton for the second time 11-8.

Gordon and Brunson came up big again in the first inning after Gordon roped a double, and Brunson had another RBI to take the 1-0 lead.

The second inning was quiet, but Tarleton answered in the second inning with two runs. The Riders also added three more in the fourth inning and put the Nittany Lions at a 5-1 deficit.

Penn State came back in the fourth inning, highlighted by a base-clearing double by Jones. Jones also scored after a single from Gordon, and Penn State led once again 6-5.

Tarleton brought the bats scoring three in the top of the fifth inning, but a final five-run push from Penn State in the bottom of the inning locked in the 11-8 win.

Game Five

Penn State suffered its only loss of the tournament to No. 2 Texas 7-1.

Once again, Penn State began the game with a 1-0 lead after a solo home run by Gordon. The Nittany Lions held on to their lead through the top of the fourth inning.

The Longhorns then found their offense and plated three in the bottom of the fourth inning. They extended their lead to 5-1 after scoring two more in the fifth inning. A final effort was made by Texas as it defeated Penn State 7-1.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions will remain in the south to face Baylor at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 6, in Waco, Texas.

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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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