Penn State Softball Outlasts Saint Francis In Defensive Battle 2-1

Story posted March 22, 2022 in CommRadio, Sports by Zach Donaldson

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State softball (17-11) took down Saint Francis (15-11) on Tuesday evening, 2-1 in a defensive showdown with each team registering only five hits.

Aside from the hits, it was an evenly matched contest throughout that finished with the Nittany Lions winning their seventh straight game and eighth of the last 10.

The offense came early and often, as the first three Penn State batters registered hits, leading to a sacrifice-fly RBI off the bat of Lexie Black bringing home Cassie Lindmark.

Saint Francis responded in the top of the second when Lindsay Ward got a hold of a pitch from Kylee Ligenfelter and sent it over the left field wall to knot the game at one a piece.

Then the bats would then begin to cool, but not before Mel Coombs became the difference maker in the bottom half of the second. The sophomore infielder sliced a double down the left field line to trot home Liana Jones, who reached on a double the at bat before, making the score 2-1. For the rest of the game, it would remain that way.

Penn State was in a position to compile runs all game long but couldn’t do so due to some precise pitching and stellar defense by the Red Flash. With only five hits recorded for each, and three and four team strikeouts for Penn State and Saint Francis, respectively, it was a game highlighted by defense.

Penn State’s outfield impressed and held things down on the defensive end, with Maggie Finnegan and Lilia Crouthamel making some incredible catches to keep the Nittany Lions in the lead.

In the pitching department, Penn State flashed its bullpen depth and was fueled by strong bullpen performances from Bailey Parshall and Vanessa Oatley. Oatley kicked things off entering in relief for Ligenfelter who only went two innings, allowing one hit, one run and two walks. Oatley picked things up a bit, allowing no runs, two hits yet walking none. Then it was Parshall who slammed the door shut with a team-high three innings and two strikeouts.

The Nittany Lions took all of this en route to their seventh straight victory and are seemingly peaking at the right time with conference play just around the corner.

“[Going into conference play], it’s big. We're coming off the highs and we're just going to keep riding it and come together as a team, not put too much pressure on ourselves and have fun,” Coombs said.

Crouthamel added, “I think it's really good for our confidence. Especially because during spring break, we had some lows. But I think we're really on the upswing and I think teams should be pretty scared to face us coming up.”

Next, Penn State opens conference play with a three-game homestand against Maryland kicking off on Friday, March 25 at 6 p.m. at Beard Field.

Zach Donaldson is a fourth-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email