Dominant Fifth Inning Gives Penn State A Series Sweep Over Purdue

Story posted April 3, 2022 in CommRadio, Sports by Jacob Cheris

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State Nittany Lions (22-13, 4-2) were looking for a series sweep against the Purdue Boilermakers (18-19, 1-4), and they got it with an 11-3 win behind an eight-run fifth inning. Penn State has not swept a Big Ten opponent since 2016.

A dominant offensive showing in the fifth inning propelled the Nittany Lions to an 11-3 win completing the series sweep, giving Penn State its fourth straight win overall and third straight win in the Big Ten.

“We hit the ball extremely well, I think we pitched it strong and we played awesome defense,” coach Clarisa Crowell said. “For us to go out there and win in this fashion is amazing.”

The Nittany Lions did not get off to an ideal start. Purdue started the game off with a two-run home run from pitcher Alex Echazarreta.

Bailey Parshall was terrific in the first four innings with five strikeouts. Echazarreta was also great, pitching two scoreless innings.

Penn State had no hits through three and a half innings. However, that drought ended after Cassie Lindmark blasted a two-run home run to tie the game at two.

The tie would not last long. Ally Kurland gave Penn State its first lead of the game with a solo home run to deep left field. Kurland leads the Nittany Lions with 13 home runs on the year.

Momentum was on the Nittany Lions’ side, but the offense could not get runners on base. Penn State did not make any contact in the fourth inning.

Vanessa Oatley came in relief for Parshall at the top of the fifth since she pitched in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader. Oatley had two strikeouts and was credited with the win making her 3-1 on the season.

Even though the offense was what gave Penn State the win, Oatley had to get out of a tough fifth inning with the bases loaded for the Boilermakers, as the defense helped bail her out.

The bottom of the fifth was when the Penn State offense started to shine. Eight runs scored on four hits and two Purdue errors was what pushed Penn State ahead of the Boilermakers.

“Our mission in every game is to start fast, win the fifth and finish strong,” Crowell said. “Our kids talked about keeping their foot on the gas pedal and they were able to do that.”

Lauren Marcotte drove in the game-winning run with an RBI single to center field with the bases loaded.

“When I got up to the box, I just needed to keep it simple and not make it too big of a moment,” Marcotte said.

The Nittany Lions have a tough schedule ahead of them. They begin a six-game road trip against the Ohio State Buckeyes for a two-game series and then travel to Ann Arbor for a battle against the Wolverines.

“I think our team is just in a good place right now,” Crowell said. “They're [playing] really resilient and gritty right now.”

Jacob Cheris is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email