Penn State Softball Walks Off Cornell in Extras in Dramatic Fashion

Story posted March 19, 2022 in CommRadio, Sports by Molly White

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State made a heroic comeback in its home opener against Cornell with a walkoff victory in extra innings.

After the Nittany Lions spent the last of their 22 games on the road, they were thrilled to be back at home, and they surely matched the energy in the stands.

In a post game interview with junior Maggie Finnegan, she talked about how much of a difference it makes for the players to have fans in the stands, as they haven’t since 2019 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’ve never had a home game that actual fans are allowed to go to, so it is so cool to have the little kids here and everything, it's just awesome,” Finnegan said. “Two years and we still haven’t had one yet, so it's awesome.”

This is the first time these teams have faced off since 2001.

Penn State came into this game with a record of 11-11, and Cornell at 2-6. While the game started off slow, it surely ended with a bang.

Starting off on the mound for the Nittany Lions was senior Kylee Lingenfelter, who had a season high of nine strikeouts against Buffalo, and entered the game with a career ERA of  5.25, which is not reflective at all to the level at which she has been playing this season.

While scoreless, there was a lot of contact and smart play by each team in a battle to keep each other off the board within the first five innings.

Junior Mia Burd had a great game in the circle for Cornell as she demonstrated excellent control and utilized her broad strike zone. She earned herself two strikeouts on the day.

Lingenfelter wound up with five strikeouts in 6.1 innings, before she was relieved by Bailey Parshall.

Lingenfelter put up an outstanding performance for Penn State allowing only one hit in which Cornell scored its only two runs off of to take a lead in the fifth inning.

Parshall adjusted seamlessly and instantly made her presence known, as she closed the sixth inning striking out the first two batters she faced as Cornell had two runners in critical scoring position.

The Nittany Lions offense came roaring back in the bottom of the sixth with Finnegan up to bat to follow Lexie Black’s stand up double just before. Finnegan put up a big hit to right field to drive in a run and make it to second base, closing the gap for Penn State.

Shortly after, Lauren Marcotte ripped a line drive deep into center field bringing Finnegan home to tie the game.

Parshall defended the Nittany Lions, shutting down three of the first four batters she faced, keeping Cornell out of scoring position.

At the end of regulation, Penn State and Cornell were tied, sending the game to extra innings.

While Cornell came in hot with a runner at third, it failed to score.

In the bottom of the eighth, Finnegan struck again with a walk-off single, scoring Maddie Gordon to win the game in extras.

In a postgame interview with head coach Clarisa Crowell, she discussed her thoughts on the team's performance.

“It wasn’t like Tuesday where we were stringing hits together and scoring a lot of runs, but what I loved  about today is that they had to play gritty and find a way to win,” Crowell said. “I’m just proud of them for their fight.”

Molly White is a second-year majoring in kinesiology. To contact her, email