Fourth inning rally isn’t enough to generate a Nittany Lion win
What turned into a beautiful evening after a rainy and cold week, the Nittany Lions (21-17, B1G 4-5) fell to the Indiana Hoosiers (11-28, B1G 2-7) in the first game of a three game set Friday at Beard Field.
Coming off a series win against Wisconsin last weekend, Friday’s game did not end as planned. The Lion’s dugout supported the players with plenty of energy, but in the end they could not find the edge to get the job done, falling to the Hoosiers 9-3.
Jessica Cummings found success in the top of the first with her first strike out of the night against the Hoosiers’ best batter Shannon Cawley. Indiana was able to get two quick runs on the board off of Katelyn Conenna’s hit, which brought great energy to the Hoosiers’ game. In the bottom of the first, the Lions had no answer.
Macy Jones made a remarkable layout catch off the bat of Kelsey Dotson, and was able to complete the throw to second to end the top half of the third. The Lions were unsuccessful and could not generate any runs in the bottom of the third.
As the clouds started to cover Beard Field in the top of the fourth, Shelby Miller made a great play by catching Indiana’s Michelle Huber stealing third, to produce the second out of the inning.
A base hit for Penn State started off the bottom of the fourth, which got the Lions morale back up to a positive level. Jones made another big play and successfully hit the ball in a gap between center and right field to get the Lions on the board for one run. Alyssa VanDerveer followed with another run to tie the game up at 2.
The Hoosiers were able to dominate the fifth with two runs and a home run from Huber to make the score 6-2.
Penn State head coach Amanda Lehotak talked about the subpar pitching throughout the night.
“We are giving up way too many walks and we are getting behind. We can not expect our offense to score 10 runs every game.”
Two homeruns were recorded from both teams in the sixth inning. The Lions switched pitchers after Jones allowed a Rachel O’Malley homerun. Mariaina Laubach picked up two strikeouts in a row, bringing a new life to the team.
“She did what we needed her to do, she came in and threw strikes. She gave us an opportunity to get back on offense as quick as possible,” said Lehotak on Laubach’s pitching performance.
Later, Jones’ hit delivered a powerful homerun for the Lions making the score 7-3. Unfortunately, Reina Furuya could not make a play to bring the loaded bases home to tie the score.
The Lions already started to look defeated in the top of the third as Indiana hit their third homerun of the night making the final score 9-3. For Penn State’s offense, with two outs, runs in scoring position, Vanderveer mimicked what seemed to be a common them of the night for the Lions, and could not generate the runs, with an abrupt ending to the game.
“Hopefully tomorrow is a new day,” Lehotak said when looking to Saturday’s game two.
The Lions will look to win the second game in the series at home again tomorrow against the Hoosiers at 3 p.m.
Anna Witte is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email firstname.lastname@example.org.