Nittany Lions Bounce Back in Game Two, Split Doubleheader with Bison
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.-- The host Penn State Nittany Lions (23-26, 6-11) defeated the Bucknell Bison (26-19, 13-2) by a score of 9-8 after suffering a 4-2 defeat in the first game.
The Nittany Lions struggled both on defense and offense in game one, committing three errors while notching only two runs on five hits. A lack of attention to detail is what killed Penn State, with Bucknell equaling them in hits with five. The defense, which has been a problem at times, proved to hurt once more in game one.
“We had the goal [going in] of not having any innings that snowball. We had three errors in an inning,” said Penn State head coach Amanda Lehotak.
The difference on the scoreboard, however, can be attributed to a shaky defense behind what was otherwise a stellar pitching performance by freshman pitcher Bailey Parshall, who went six innings of three-run ball, with only two runs being earned.
“Game one continues to be the thorn in our side, and we’re working on it,” said coach Lehotak.
Game two would be a whole different story, as the Nittany Lions exploded for nine hits and 10 runs in a seven-inning game, culminating in a walk off single by senior first baseman Meghan Williams.
“Meghan Williams, getting the game-winning hit. Really happy for her, especially in her senior year,” said coach Lehotak.
Williams, a native of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, has platooned for much of the year at first base as she struggled at the plate, hitting a measly .182 coming into today’s games. However, when her team needed her most, she came through in the clutch.
“She’s been hitting pretty well [lately], so we wanted to give her the nod. We liked the matchup going into the weekend, and it paid off,” said coach Lehotak.
Other key contributors included third baseman Destiny Weber, who went a perfect 3-for-3 with two RBI’s and a walk. Weber got things going with an RBI double in the first, as well as a huge home run in the bottom of the fourth.
“I thought Destiny Weber had a career day today,” said coach Lehotak.
Home runs by Toni Polk and Chelsea Bisi, each hitting their 12th of the season, gave the Nittany Lions a two-run cushion going into the top of the ninth. However, the Bucknell squad that proved pesky all day long just wouldn’t go away.
“We knew tonight would be a dog fight. It always is with them,” said coach Lehotak.
The Bison would battle back for two runs in the ninth of eventual winning pitcher Bailey Parshall, courtesy of a two-run single by freshman catcher Nicole Rivait.
Rivait went six for seven on the day, including 3-for-4 with four RBI’s in the second game. Parshall, who pitched in both games one and two, faced Rivait four times and never could retire the dangerous freshman.
Nonetheless, facing a potential walk-off in the ninth, the Nittany Lions came out firing. Weber started things off with a walk, followed by Tori Dubois reaching base via a fielding error by Bucknell shortstop Anna Gimmestad. With runners on first and second, a passed ball would put a runner on third for Williams with only one away in the ninth.
Given the opportunity, Williams came through with the type of senior moment that one won’t quickly forget.
Andrew Destin is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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